In Florida and across the country as a whole, truck accidents pose grave threats to motorists and pedestrians alike. Because of the sheer age and weight disparity between vehicles, commercial truck crashes have even more potential than standard car crashes to wreak chaos, destruction, and devastation for the people they victimize.
According to figures compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, truck accidents were estimated to lead to a staggering 4,895 fatalities in 2020, a 2% increase from the previous year, but nevertheless, still 4,895 tragic losses too many.
And far too many of these losses are the product of careless, reckless, and entirely preventable negligence. That negligence can rear its ugly head in a wide range of different forms. Read on to understand the four most common ways this negligence can manifest itself, and understand why you should seek prompt legal assistance to hold the negligent party responsible.
1. Distracted Driving
All commercial drivers need to exercise caution, focus, and careful attention to detail, and that applies doubly so to commercial truck drivers. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the average truck driver could see anywhere between 11 to 14 hours of near-consecutive driving on a given workday.
That’s a lot of time that drivers must spend on the road, and considerable time that they have to devote toward staying focused on the road. Even one slip-up is all it takes to lead to a crash, chaos, and wanton carnage. Common distractions and slip-ups could include:
- Looking down
- Looking away from the road
All manner of different variables could distract a truck driver, and all of them are potential grounds for negligence if they lead to a collision.
Because truckers have to drive over such long distances over such long periods of time, it can be harder for them to maintain a healthy sleep schedule than those of more traditional professionals.
Unfortunately, a sizable fraction of truck drivers struggle with sleep disorders because of this. One of the most common is obstructive sleep apnea, which is estimated to affect 17-28% of all active commercial drivers on the road, per research from the Sleep Association.
To give you a proper understanding of the scale there, that could equate to up to 1.1 million commercial truck drivers who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. While OSA causes problems at night, it can also cause problems during the day, including daytime fatigue and drowsiness, which can be especially problematic behind the wheel.
3. Drugs And Alcohol
There’s nothing wrong with occasionally unwinding by imbibing in responsible, careful moderation. That said, drug and alcohol use absolutely do not mix with driving, especially when driving a 40 ton 18-wheeler.
It’s a surprisingly uncommon factor in truck crashes; over a 20-year study, the FMCSA found that alcohol only played a role in 3.6% of the fatal truck crashes that occurred during the most recent reported year (2017). However, it can still be a devastating factor when it does occur and a factor that will absolutely constitute negligence.
4. Inexperience And Poor Judgment
Incompetence or inexperience can lead to devastating, life-altering, or life-ending consequences. Whether it stems from the trucker or trucking company, cutting corners or making poor decisions can incur deadly costs. Intentionally or unintentionally, corners may be cut by:
- Employing drivers with poor training
- Improperly loading freight
- Letting mechanical problems slide
- Making wrong turns or moves
- Speeding unsafely
Each one of these five factors will constitute negligence, and all of them should be held to account by a personal injury attorney.
Don’t Hesitate to Contact a Boca Raton Truck Accident Attorney
If you’re struggling with how to move forward or where to turn after a devastating trucking incident, the Boca Raton truck accident lawyers at Demand the Limits can help. Please contact us today to understand how we can help you move forward.