Central Florida regularly makes state and national headlines for the fatal trucking accidents that happen here. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) reported that January 2019 saw over 3,000 commercial truck crashes. This shocking statistic highlights the need for our state to make its roadways a safer place to commute and prevent these tragedies from affecting thousands of families annually.
As a longtime advocate for truck crash victims and their surviving family members, Jordan Law also seeks to effect change through the pursuit of personal injury compensation. In addition, civil consequences are an important reminder to commercial companies to do a better job of adhering to federal and state regulations regarding their drivers and fleets.
Top Causes of Trucking Crashes in Central Florida
While The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has reported that driver fatigue, speeding, and DUI are some of the most common factors contributing to crashes in the United States, there are many more. Many causes of commercial vehicle accidents in Central Florida are the result of reckless and negligent action on the part of the driver and/or their company:
- The driver isn’t familiar with the roadway
- Use of over-the-counter drugs that have side effects (Benadryl, cold medicine, sleep aids)
- Traffic congestion and accidents
- Prescription drug abuse
- Weather conditions
- Road construction or hazards
- Sudden stops
- Inadequate surveillance by the carrier
- Inexperience driving big commercial rigs
- Failing to maintain the vehicle properly
- Ignoring traffic safety laws
- Distracted driving
As you can see, many of these are preventable and are already governed by state and federal regulations. This is why recovering compensatory damages for the injuries and damages you’ve suffered can not only ensure you are made whole financially but reinforce the importance of compliance.
Steps Being Taken to Curb Trucking Accidents in Florida
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has worked diligently to create and enforce additional safety rules and features in the trucking industry since the 1990s. This agency has primarily focused on critical crash avoidance systems that can alert and even implement emergency take-over functions. Yet, these are not mandated by current laws and regulations in the United States.
Here in Central Florida, the Department of Transportation has conducted studies to determine if additional vehicle lanes would be a solution for improving highway safety on the I-75 corridor. Even though it’s still unknown if this is a workable plan, FDOT has also stepped up enforcement of state and federal regulatory requirements for carriers and their drivers.
Trucking Laws Designed to Prevent Accidents
Despite the broad reach and influence of the truck industry lobby, there are regulations in place to protect operators and drivers on the road around them. One of these is the establishment of shift limits for those driving a commercial truck. According to these regulations, a driver can only work the following schedule:
- 11 hours in a 14-hour workday
- No more than eight hours without taking a rest
- A maximum of 60 hours in a seven-day workweek or 70 hours in an eight-day work period
Keep in mind that there are exceptions to many of these regulations, including shifts. For example, every truck driver can drive for an extra two hours to meet their expected schedule so long as the driving conditions are adverse. It’s even possible for them to drive without limits if certain emergency conditions interfere with meeting a cargo delivery deadline.
Unfortunately, even with countless exceptions, many operators still violate the law and drive longer than permitted. This often leads to devastating injuries and property damage because they were tired or fell asleep behind the wheel.
Find an Experienced Trucking Accident Attorney Near You
If you or a loved one are the victims of a Central Florida trucking accident, Jordan Law will help you stand up for your right to justice and fair compensation. Our legal team genuinely understands the level of devastation you have experienced physically, mentally, and financially, as well as the strain it has put on your loved ones.
Trust us to thoroughly investigate your claim and build a solid case for your personal injury suit. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about what rights you have to compensation.