Tractor trailer accidents occur far too frequently in this country. We see them in St. Petersburg papers and via national news venues. The outcomes are often horrific. Though, when one looks at the ratio of accidents per miles driven, there are actually far more car accidents than those involving semis, the large trucks cause a great deal more damage. There is a much greater chance that someone will be injured or killed in a tractor trailer accident.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or the FMCSA, is an organization in place to reduce the risk faced by truckers and others on the road. However, their findings – which are published for public viewing, are disturbing. They have found four trends among tractor trailer drivers that will, very often, lead to serious crashes.
- Failing to Receive Medical Attention Drivers are under a good deal of pressure to meet deadlines and continue earning paychecks. That fact cannot be argued, but that does not excuse the stubbornness when it comes to seeing a doctor. All too often, truckers allow medical conditions to get out of hand, which can ultimately lead to heart attack, seizure, stroke, or other such complication behind the wheel of the massive vehicle. The outcome, as one might expect, is rarely good.
- Distracted Driving Despite the publicity that this problem is receiving – thanks to the invention of texting – distracted driving continues to occur with scary regularity. All it takes is that two second diversion when looking down to change the radio station, read a text message, or when staring at something in a nearby field. In just a moment, an unexpected obstacle can become a much more serious issue. Distracted driving has been blamed for trucks being rolled in tight turns, for failing to stop at intersections, and for barreling through construction zones. It’s too easy for personal injury attorneys to argue negligence in these cases.
- Speeding Deadline or not, the speed limits are posted for a reason. Even the posted sixty-five miles per hour may be too fast when driving in inclement weather. Choosing to travel at unsafe speeds has cost many tractor trailer drivers their lives. It’s also led to the deaths of many innocent victims. The faster you travel in your vehicle, the longer it will take to reach a complete stop. For 18-wheelers, this phenomenon is even greater. So, what happens when the car up ahead has to slow down, or stop due to an unexpected obstacle?
- Inexperience It can’t necessarily be avoided, but proper training can do a lot to help new drivers manage the large vehicles in emergency situations or unusual circumstances. Inexperienced drivers commonly make poor decisions because they panic. This can cause them to over compensate. The top heavy vehicles can tip easily and are difficult to reign in after control has been lost.
It is important for people impacted by a tractor trailer accident to contact a Saint Petersburg attorney. The impact of such an accident can be devastating. Nearly half of all big truck accidents also involve a passenger vehicle and it comes as little surprise that the people in the car rarely fare well. Unfortunately, more often than not, semi-truck accidents involve driver error. Had actions been taken to drive with more care, the accidents may have been avoided. At the very least, a lawyer may be able to help you collect the damages that you need to pay for medical- and repair expenses.