Accidents with large trucks are devastating. Not a week passes without the tragic news of a major truck wreck in Florida, resulting in death or life-changing injuries.

Passenger car drivers, and especially young drivers, must take heed of the all-crushing mass (up to 80,000 pounds), the much longer braking distance (over two times that of a car) and the very limited visibility of large trucks, for many truck accidents in Florida are not caused by the trucker, but by reckless or inexperienced car drivers.

We have pointed out in a recent article that better truck safety technology has the potential to reduce the risks of accidents caused by drowsy, distracted or careless truck drivers. The truth is that far more needs to be done, and more quickly, to reduce devastating accidents caused by truck drivers and trucking companies.

Do large trucks have higher crash rates?

18-wheelers travel far more than cars, and mostly on the safer interstates. Per mile traveled, they are involved in fewer crashes resulting in injuries and property damages than passenger cars. But large trucks are involved in fatal crashes at a rate of 1.7 per 100 million miles traveled, compared to 1.4 for passenger vehicles.

Who is the victim in fatal crashes involving large trucks?

In fatal two-vehicle crashes involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle, 97 percent of the fatalities were the occupants of the passenger vehicle.

Are truck crashes caused by driver fatigue?

A national study of large truck crashes has demonstrated that hours-of-service violations increased the likelihood that driver fatigue was the cause of a truck crash. Other research has shown that after having driven more than 8 hours, there is a twofold increase of the risk that a trucker becomes involved in an accident.

Are the present working hour regulations safe?

Under present rules and using a “restart” provision, truck drivers may log up to 77 hours in 7 days, and 88 hours in 8 days, which is way beyond the safe work-and-rest proportions most people can stand. Under the terms of a court settlement with safety groups, the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) has agreed to reconsider the rules and publish final hours-of-service regulations by July 2011.

Motor carriers are subjected to extensive FMCSA rules, covering not just hours of service, but truck weight and size, driver qualifications and truck maintenance requirements, among many others. The Administration however, does not dispose of a sufficient number of inspectors to control the estimated 715,000 interstate motor carrier companies and their trucks. Rules enforcement is a concern because many of the control systems can be falsified or tampered with.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a serious accident with a large truck in Florida, you are most probably facing enormous challenges. One of them may well be the uphill battle to receive just compensation from a motor carrier and their insurance company.

In North and Central East Florida, the Daytona Beach car accident attorneys of Johnson & Gilbert PA offer you the help you need after a serious accident caused by a large truck. Call us today toll free at (800) 556-8890 and locally at (386) 673-4412 or fill out the form on this page for a free consultation.