How Often Are Truck Drivers Responsible for Large Truck Accidents?

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If you have been involved in a an SUV or car accident in the Tampa Bay area call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353.
Injured man on crutches in front of a truck

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck driver errors account for nearly one-third of truck/passenger vehicle accidents. Because large trucks weigh 20 to 30 times as much as passenger vehicles, when they two are involved in an accident, the results can be deadly. In 2018, more than 4,000 people were in accidents involving large trucks. Of those, 67 percent were in passenger vehicles, 15 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcycles. When you look at those resulting in death, a whopping 96 percent of those killed were the occupants of passenger vehicles.

Fatigue is the biggest culprit. Research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that truck drivers behind the wheel for more than eight hours at a time are twice as likely to cause a crash. Under current Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, commercial truckers are not allowed to drive for more than 11 hours at a time. The same study found that truck drivers reporting hours-of-service violations also report falling asleep at the wheel at least once in the previous month. In another study based on a national sample of driver’s logbooks reviewed after crashes, logbook violations increased the likelihood that the truck driver precipitated the accident.

Defective equipment can also play a role in truck/passenger vehicle accidents. Brake failures were the most common equipment failure cause in 42 percent of crash-involved truck accidents investigated. Plus, trucks require greater stopping distances than passenger vehicles and poor maintenance of truck braking systems—especially older systems—can be a factor. Fortunately, antilock brakes have been required on new tractor-trailer trucks since 1997 and on new trailers, single-unit trucks, and buses the following year.

Just as distracted driving accidents are on the rise among passenger vehicles, the same is true for truckers. Drivers who send texts are 23 times more likely to be involved in a “critical safety event”, according to a 2009 distracted driving study conducted by the FMCSA. Distractions can also mean glancing at a billboard or anything that takes their eyes (and mind) off the road.

Another place to be extra diligent on the highway with commercial trucks is in work zones. Anyone who’s lived in Florida for any length of time knows the congestion and confusion that can be caused by shifting lanes, miles of barricades, and construction crews working at night under bright sodium halide lights. Disruptions such as flaggers and construction trucks entering and exiting the highway can also add to the uncertainty. Over the past five years, more than 1,000 people were killed and another 18,000 were injured in work zone accidents involving large trucks in the U.S. Of these accidents, most are rear-end collisions since it takes trucks longer to slow down or stop than it does for cars.

Here are some tips that can help you stay safe while sharing the road with large trucks.

  1. Be visible. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. If you can’t see the truck driver in their side mirror, chances are they can’t see you either.
  2. Pass with care. Never pass on a downgrade, and always give trucks extra space. If a truck is trying to pass you, give them room, stay in the right lane, and slow down.
  3. Never cut a truck off in traffic. If you dart in front of a truck, they can’t slow down or stop as fast as you can, and often you’ll be in their blind spot—especially if you’re driving a small, low-to-the-ground vehicle.
  4. Never tailgate. You can easily slide under the truck in a crash. Be sure to give trucks extra space when stopped in traffic in case they roll backward when they start moving.
  5. Wide turns should be expected. Trucks need a lot more room to maneuver, so don’t block intersections or try to squeeze by a truck that’s making a turn.
  6. Practice patience.  It takes longer for big trucks to accelerate, so be patient and resist the urge to pass, which can also distract the truck driver.

If you’re involved in a large truck accident, it’s important to seek medical attention and the advice of proven, trial-tested personal injury attorneys like those at Fernandez & Hernandez Attorneys At Law. You can reach them for advice 24/7 by calling (813) 229-5353. Hablan español.

 

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15:17 05 Feb 20
I was in an accident lately and he was suggested by a friend. He met with me in person and was very punctual. He was... very calm and determined throughout my entire situation. Overall, I was extremely satisfied and impressed with Martin in reaching very positive results. I would recommend him and his office to anyone for solid advice and bottom-line results. Thank you again!read more
Tamika Jones
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22:29 06 Jan 20
My experience with Martin Hernandez has been stressful not on his part. Martin has been very patient with me when I... wanted to pull every strand of hair from my head. From day one he took time to explain the process of how this was going to be but he would be there to hold my hand all the way and he did just that. His paralegal Angela walked with and held both my hands as well during all of this. When I couldn't get ahold of Martin she would make sure he got everyone of my messages. I would use his services again and recommend him to anyone. Thanks so much for all you have done and I'm forever grateful.read more
Russell Craig
Russell Craig
20:51 19 Dec 19
Very pleased with how the case was handled. I hope to never be in this position again as it was a stupid mistake but... with the help of Martin Hernandez I didn’t even have to appear in court on my own. I highly recommend using him and his team, you wont be disappointed.read more
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22:34 14 Nov 19
Worked with Martin in Tampa, Florida. He executed on everything he promised. A well run organization. He called me... back very quickly whenever I reached out, if not answering right away. Definitely would recommend Martin to my friends and family. Thanks again for everything.read more
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16:55 14 Nov 19
I was arrested for my 2nd DUI and I've reached out to Mr. Hernandez explaining my situation. He made me feel safe... through out the whole process. He helped me and extremely happy with the result. Martin knows clearly what are the best steps to take that's why I highly recommend him to anyone.read more
Kimberly McLendon
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02:06 14 Nov 19
Martin Hernandez and his entire staff are extremely friendly,caring,knowledgeable, and treat you like apart of the... family. I hired Martin approximately 2 years ago. My case was a complicated one. But Martin Hernandez did an absolute amazing job. I was always kept current of what was going on with my case. Anytime I called, if Martin was unavailable his hard working staff got the answers I needed. I would recommend Martin Hernandez to everyone. He's dedicated to each case. If you're looking for a lawyer who doesn't just represent you,but welcomes you like family to his firm, Here's your answer. If I could give 50 stars I would. Thank you Martin& staff for all you did. Kimberly Mclendonread more
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22:21 07 Nov 19
My medical bills had been piling up long before I decided to contact an attorney, and by that time the statute of... limitations was close to ending. My friend recommended Martin Hernandez who is very knowledgeable and who saved me in my situation. My medical bills are finally taken care of because of the work of Martin and his team. From the very beginning, I have no doubt that’s why he had so many great reviews from others. And I am 100% satisfied client who definitely recommend him to anyone.read more
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Martin is the absolute sweetest most understanding lawyer I have ever met. He is very knowledgeable of every situation... and will get you the money that you are deserved. His staff is amazing I love everyone there I couldn't speak more highly of all of them. I would recommend Martin and his staff to my family and anyone who is in need of an attorney don't waste your time with others go see Martin he will take care of you !read more
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Martin is very professional, marvelous , and meet all expectations far as handling my family law case.I strongly... suggest him to anyone who is in need of the best lawyer in Florida. Finest lawyer I've ever meet and i thank him for winning my case . He'll be hired by me anytime needed.read more
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Martin and his office were very quick to respond to our inquiry and very professional. Extremely helpful and willing to... listen to the issue and address it in a timely manner. I would certainly use him in the future.read more
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Amazing attorney!! Martin Hernandez and his firm are the best you'll find. I have known Martin for years and he has... helped my sister and friends in their car accident cases. I can't say enough good things. He is very knowledgeable, kind, and will treat you like family!read more
Noah Chase
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08:48 19 Aug 19
Mr. Hernandez is clearly very experienced - based on my interactions with him. I look for an attorney based on... integrity and experience. I found the integrity that I was looking for with Mr. Hernandez. I would recommend his services to anyone.read more
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Martin is an amazing attorney and was able to get all 3 charges off my record. I knew I could count on him from the... moment I retained him as my attorney. He was quick to answer any questions I had and was very reliable. My case lasted over a year and he was always keeping contact with me the whole time. I would highly recommend him if you need a criminal defense attorney.read more
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