Trucks are crucial to the American economy, but these large, heavy vehicles can cause significant damage when involved in accidents. If you were hurt in an accident involving a semi truck in Florida, you may be surprised to learn that the main factor in what happened to you may not be aggressive driving or distraction, but braking distance.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, most fatalities from truck accidents are not the people driving the truck, but those in smaller passenger vehicles. The vulnerability of smaller vehicles means that when trucks do not leave enough room to brake in an appropriate amount of time, innocent people can suffer.
Common reasons for truck accidents
Large trucks can require 20 to 40 percent more distance to stop than smaller vehicles. This means that when other factors are influencing a truck driver’s ability to drive safely, he or she will be less likely to leave the appropriate amount of space to stop. Some of the factors that can influence braking distance include:
- Wet roads
- Poorly maintained brakes
- Driver fatigue
- Dangerous road conditions
- Untrained driver
- Improperly loaded cargo
Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. Truck drivers must adhere to the regulations that outline how many consecutive hours and total number of hours they can drive in a week. When a trucker feels fatigued from too many hours behind the wheel, he or she is less able to drive safely and accurately judge necessary braking distance.
Who is liable for a commercial vehicle accident?
The aftermath of a truck accident can be quite complicated, and you may not know what factors played a role in your accident. If you are unsure of where to start, it can be useful to begin by seeking a complete case evaluation with an experienced accident attorney. A thorough investigation can determine what party is liable for your accident and can include:
- The truck driver
- The employer
- The manufacturer of faulty truck parts
- The agency responsible for dangerous road conditions
There may be multiple sources of compensation available, but a lawyer can identify the best approach for your personal injury claim and help you fight for the full and fair recovery you deserve after a truck accident. No matter the circumstances of your accident, you have the right to know your legal options.