On February 5, 2020, A fiery accident affected traffic on the Howard Frankland Bridge. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a vehicle rear-ended a dump truck in the southbound lanes of Interstate 275. On February 4, 2020, one man died after a crash involving a dump truck in Cocoa, according to police. On January 20, 2020, the driver of a dump truck died when his dump truck caught fire after a crash on I-275 in Manatee County. The Florida Highway Patrol said the driver lost control of the vehicle and overturned off the roadway, trapping the driver. Two St. Petersburg officers tried to free the driver from the vehicle, but the truck caught fire, forcing the officers to retreat.
Do Dump Trucks and Tractor-Trailers Have Issues That Cause Accidents?
Yes, because of the size and weight of dump trucks and tractor-trailers, commercial vehicle accidents often result in significant damage to other vehicles and serious injuries to others. Dump trucks and tractor-trailers are taller than most other vehicles causing serious injury or death to those in a car. There are many factors to be considered in a commercial vehicle crash.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Dump Truck and Tractor-Trailer Crashes?
The most common causes of dump truck and tractor crashes are brake problems and drivers traveling too fast. Fatigue and pressure from the carrier, tire problems and distractions are also significant causes of commercial vehicle crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has determined that driver distraction is a problem for commercial truck drivers. The most significant distractions are cell telephone usage and texting. Dump trucks and tractor-trailers are often operated without proper driver training or vehicle maintenance, making them a frequent source of commercial vehicle accidents. Both the truck driver and the company that owns the truck might be at fault in a dump truck or tractor-trailer crash.
How Common Are Dump Truck and Tractor-Trailer Accidents?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 37,133 lives lost were lost on America’s roadways in 34,247 fatal motor vehicle crashes. 5,005 lives were lost in 4,455 crashes involving large trucks or buses. Fatalities increased by 8% from 2016, and fatal crashes increased by 8%. Large truck occupants comprised 17% of all large truck and bus fatalities, a 7% increase from 2016. Large trucks and buses account for 13% of the traffic fatalities.
Can the Driver’s Employer Be Held Responsible in the Accident?
Yes, if the driver is an employee, the company can be held responsible for any negligent actions the driver commits while on the job. Some ways the company can be held responsible are:
- Inadequate training for drivers
- Failing to perform safety inspections
- Exceeding the legal limit for truck weight with cargo
- Pressuring drivers to meet unrealistic deadlines
Companies that hire contract drivers may be held responsible if they:
- Provide trucks that do not meet safety inspection standards
- Use unskilled, under-trained drivers
- Pressure drivers to haul oversized loads
- Promote driver fatigue with unrealistic deadlines for hauling loads
- Require a driver to do something like texting, or talking while driving The company can be held responsible for the collision because of negligent hiring, inadequate training, or not maintaining the truck in safe and operable condition. Occasionally, commercial vehicle accidents cause catastrophic injuries. The victims of these accidents often have huge medical bills and sometimes suffer permanent disability and disfigurement. If the victim does not survive, the family or the estate may file a wrongful death claim.
An attorney with a trucking accident experience is needed in a dump truck or tractor-trailer case. If you or a loved one have been injured in a dump truck or tractor-trailer accident and need help getting compensation for your injuries, call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813.755.9500.