Watch for Tractor Trailer Accidents in South Florida
Travel on major highways is a fact of life for many Floridians commuting to and from work every day, dropping their children off at school, as well as other activities. South Florida is one of the nation’s most populous areas and a central part of life is travel on major freeways. Whether it is Interstate 95, the Florida Turnpike, or Interstate 75, it is difficult to travel to just about any destination in South Florida without traversing a major freeway.
This is as true for goods and products as it is for people. I-95 begins in Miami and serves as a vital, and perhaps the most important, artery for the transport of the nation’s goods and products up and down the East Coast of the United States. I-75 also begins in Miami-Dade County and serves as the main highway linking Atlanta, Detroit and several other major cities. The products and goods that we use on a daily basis often are carried on 18 wheeler semi-trucks or tractor-trailers driven by commercial drivers down these very same freeways.
Although commercial drivers are required to pass a stringent driving test, much more rigorous than the average driver must pass to obtain his or her license, the sheer number of semis on the road and the number of hours most commercial drivers log on a daily and weekly basis can make the chances of these drivers becoming involved in an accident that much higher than the chances of an average motorist becoming involved in a traffic accident. However, aside from the increased chances of semis being involved in accidents, the consequences for motorists involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer are often much more serious and devastating than accidents involving regular passenger vehicles due to the sheer size of these vehicles.
Differences Between Tractor Trailer Accidents and “Regular” Motor Vehicle Accidents Between Passenger Vehicles
Accidents with semi-trucks or tractor-trailers differ from the average motor vehicle accident in many respects. Tragically, because tractor-trailers are so much larger than the average passenger motor vehicle, the damage and injuries caused by a collision between a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle are often much worse in these accidents than in collisions involving two passenger vehicles. Often these collisions can result in paralysis or even death to the unfortunate victims. This can result in extremely high medical bills for those fortunate enough to survive such a crash due to the seriousness of their injuries, and the extremely high death rate from such accidents can result in families being left without a vital source of income. An example of such an accident in Gainesville in central Florida between a Wal-Mart tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle resulted in serious injuries to a motorist traveling in the passenger vehicle. This accident highlights the fact that tractor-trailer accidents are a danger not only on freeways but also on surface streets in Florida as well.
Accidents on Florida’s roadways involving tractor-trailers also differ from typical motor vehicle accidents in that they often occur at odd hours when fewer motorists may be on the road. Many commercial truck drivers prefer to drive at night because the traffic is lighter. However, even though most of those drivers prefer to sleep during the day and then drive at night, the human body is still wired to sleep at night. Therefore, even if these drivers have slept during the day and are drinking coffee, they are still likely to be somewhat drowsy as compared to someone who is driving during the day. This in turn makes them at higher risk for accidents. Therefore, motorists traveling at night should exercise increased caution when passing and/or driving next to tractor-trailers at night.
The Stakes in Hiring an Attorney in a Florida Tractor Trailer Accident Can Be Much Higher Than In a Typical Motor Vehicle Accident
Because the stakes can be so high in a case involving accidents between tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles, it is necessary to hire an attorney with experience handling these types of personal injury claims. Our firm has over 150 years of combined legal experience representing victims in South Florida. If you or one of your loved ones have been involved in a collision with a tractor trailer in Florida, contact our firm today for a free consultation regarding your legal rights.
Copyright: martinlisner / 123RF Stock Photo