Truck Accidents: A Rising Problem in Florida Truck Accidents: A Rising Problem in Florida
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Truck Accidents: A Rising Problem in Florida

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Truck Accidents on the Rise in Florida

Over the past decade, Florida has seen a troubling rise in trucking accidents, a trend that raises serious concerns for drivers and policymakers alike. Florida’s strategic location, extensive network of highways, and bustling commerce have made the state a crucial hub for national freight transport. Unfortunately, this surge has correlated with a disturbing trend: a consistent increase in fatal and non-fatal truck accidents.

Truck Accident Statistics

In 2022, Florida recorded 344 truck-related fatalities, placing it #3 among states for such incidents, behind only Texas and California. Here are some other truck accident statistics of note for the year 2022:

  • Total Truck Accidents: 168,320

    • Texas – 19,424

    • California – 13,603

    • Florida – 9,243

    • Pennsylvania – 7,646

    • Illinois – 7,544

  • Truck Accidents with Injuries: 54,667

    • Texas – 7,517

    • California – 4,172

    • New York – 3,416

    • Florida – 3,193

  • Truck Accidents with Fatalities: 4,766

Of particular concern in Florida are accidents involving semi-trucks (tractor trailers). Due to their prevalence, severity, and the number of injuries incurred and lives lost:

  • Total semi-truck Accidents: 116,352

    • Texas – 15,916

    • California – 9,365

    • Florida – 5,801

  • Semi-truck Accidents with Injuries (about 30% of these accidents resulted in injury):

    • Texas – 5,846

    • California – 2,675

    • Florida – 1,987

  • Semi-truck Accidents with Fatalities (about 3% of these accidents resulted in a fatality):

Why so many Truck Accidents in Florida?

Numerous factors contribute to the increase in trucking accidents in Florida, each with varying degrees of impact. Here’s a look at some of the main factors:

1. Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become a significant contributor to trucking accidents in Florida. Like other drivers, truck drivers give into the temptation to make phone calls, text, or use phone apps for navigation. In addition, other distractions such as eating, and making in-cab adjustments to equipment can divert attention from the road long enough to cause severe accidents.

2. Driver Fatigue

Fatigue has ALWAYS been a major factor in causing truck accidents. Drivers often face pressure to meet tight delivery deadlines, leading them to drive for longer hours than legally allowed by the FMCSA. By ignoring mandated rest breaks and limiting their hours behind the wheel, drivers and their companies often push boundaries to meet demands. Fatigued drivers have slower reaction times, impaired judgement, and are at a higher risk of falling asleep.

3. Speeding

Speeding is another major cause of trucking accidents. Due to their size and weight, large trucks and semis require a much longer distance to come to a complete stop compared to smaller vehicles. When truck drivers exceed speed limits, they significantly increase the risk of losing control of their vehicle and causing accidents. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that over 21% of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had AT LEAST one prior speeding conviction.

4. Weather Conditions

There is no question that Florida’s weather, characterized by heavy rain, hurricanes, and wet roads creates hazardous driving conditions. Environmental factors like this can lead to reduced visibility and slippery roads, making it difficult to maintain control of vehicles.

5. Inadequate Training & Hiring Practices

The trucking industry’s rapid growth has led to inadequate training and hiring practices. Companies under pressure to fill positions may hire drivers without ensuring they have the necessary experience and training to handle large commercial vehicles safely, and this has led to higher accident rates.

6. Impaired Driving

Although less common, impaired driving is still a notable cause of truck accidents. Some drivers use stimulants and other substances to stay awake and meet deadlines. Although only a small percentage of truck drivers are involved in fatal accidents while intoxicated, the impact of these accidents can be devastating due to the size and weight of the vehicles involved.

7. Mechanical Failures and Poor Maintenance

Trucks are complex machines that require regular maintenance, upkeep, and safety inspections. Mechanical issues such as these often contribute to accidents according to the FMSCA:

  • Brake Failure

  • Tire Blowouts

  • Defective/Missing Safety Devices (i.e. windshield wipers, headlights, tie-downs, turn signals, horns).

  • Faulty Steering Wheels

  • Coupling Malfunctions

8. Road Design & Construction

Road design and ongoing construction also contribute to truck accidents. According to the Federal Highway Administration, narrow lanes, sharp turns, and poorly marked construction zones can make navigation challenging for truck drivers. In addition, construction zones often lead to sudden changes in traffic patterns, which can be particularly hazardous for large trucks.

How to Combat Truck Accidents in Florida

The rise in trucking accidents over the past decade is a complex issue influenced by multiple factors, particularly in Florida. Distracted driving, driver fatigue, speeding and poor weather conditions are among the primary causes, creating a hazardous environment on the state’s extensive highway system. Inadequate training/hiring practices, impaired driving, mechanical failures, and challenging road design have further exacerbated the problem leading to a significant increase in both fatal and non-fatal truck accidents.

Addressing these challenges requires a multifaceted approach. Enhanced enforcement of regulations, improved driver training programs, and regular maintenance of vehicles are critical steps toward reducing accidents. Additionally, investing in better road infrastructure and implementing advanced safety technologies can help mitigate the risks associated with trucking on Florida’s roads.

As we continue to explore solutions, it’s crucial to keep the safety of ALL road users in mind. By understanding the underlying causes and taking proactive measures, we can work towards a safer and more secure transportation environment in Florida.

Injured in a Trucking Accident? GOLDLAW is the right choice for You!

GOLDLAW has decades of experience helping clients with truck accident claims, and our West Palm Beach truck accident lawyers know what it takes to get you the compensation you deserve. We’re the right choice because:

  1. We have the resources and “fire power” to battle the insurance industry that smaller firms don’t have.
  2. We fully understand the pain and anguish that made you reach out, and we want to help in
    ANY way we can.
  3. With GOLDLAW by your side, you will ALWAYS know exactly where your case stands and who to talk to when you have questions.

If you need help with a truck accident claim, be sure to contact GOLDLAW by…

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