Tractor-Trailer Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries and Death

It could have been much worse.

A recent accident on State Road 417 in Orlando involving a tractor-trailer resulted in a van being wedged between the semi's tractor and its trailer. Thankfully no one was killed and a person found trapped in the van is expected to recover fully.

Trucking is big business - nearly 70% of all the freight moved in the U.S. each year is carried in commercial trucks, an industry that generates more than $255 billion annually.

Unfortunately, with so many miles traveled, there are bound to be truck accidents and, because tractor-trailers are so much heavier and larger than other vehicles, a large majority of those killed in these accidents - 73% - involve occupants of smaller vehicles (2014 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report).

Although fatalities from crashes involving semi-trucks declined by 2% from 2013 to 2014 - from 3,981 to 3,903 - there are still far too many deaths from these accidents.

What Are the Major Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents?

Even though most commercial truck drivers are highly skilled with many driving hours, driver error causes many trucking accidents including:

  • Following other vehicles too closely
  • Driver fatigue
  • Straying out of lane
  • Speeding
  • Driving under the influence of over-the-counter or prescription drugs
  • Inadequate experience or training

But small vehicle drivers can be to blame too as they often underestimate a truck's braking distance or overestimate its maneuverability. Other factors that can cause accidents are inadequate road markings, inferior surfaces and poor weather conditions.

Drivers may not be the only responsible parties in an accident. Trucking manufacturers or companies may be negligent in poor maintenance, equipment failure or improper load distribution.

Give Truckers a Break!

Truck drivers have limited visibility of other traffic because of the shape and size of their vehicle. Also, trucks take much longer than more maneuverable cars to stop, turn and accelerate. The Francis Law Group urges you to give truckers a break when sharing the road:

  • The areas behind and beside a commercial truck should be avoided because of limited visibility.
  • Give trucks lots of room when passing.
  • Don't change lanes or merge into traffic abruptly in front of a truck.
  • Never pass a truck on the right if it is turning that way.
  • Show some driver courtesy: Change lanes or slow down to allow a slow-moving truck enter the highway.

You can read more tips on sharing the road with trucks at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s “Following Too Closely.”

We Can Help with your Truck Accident Case

If you or a family member has been injured in a tractor-trailer truck accident or any type of personal injury, you may be able to get compensation for your injuries. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Tony Francis, personal injury attorney in Orlando, will fight to get you the compensation that you and your family deserve. You can reach us at 407-363-9939 or contact us via the website.