Public consumer groups dedicated to making our streets safer often speak out against Florida car accidents involving trucks. Advocacy groups, often organized by families of people who have lost their lives to Florida truck accidents, point out that large trucks are harder to control, more dangerous when they share the road with much smaller passenger vehicles, and are more difficult to stop suddenly in traffic. According to Road Safe America, an 80,000 pound tractor trailer traveling at 70 miles per hour has a similar impact in a collision as a passenger vehicle traveling at 360 miles an hour.
Across America, over 400, 000 commercial trucks and large trucks are involved in trucking accidents annually. These truck accidents resulted in more than 90, 000 injuries and 4, 200 deaths in 2008 alone. Florida trucking accidents also have a high fatality rate and often result in severe, permanent injuries, such as Florida brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, and serious burn injuries.
Many people feel very safe beside big trucks on the road because they do not realize the devastation that trucks can cause. Many of the statistics released about truck accidents in Florida and in the US also seem innocuous. For example, only 12% of traffic fatalities are attributed to truck accidents, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As well, the media has reported in recent years that the number of fatal; truck accidents has dropped somewhat. While this is a positive step forward, other statistics suggest that there is no room for complacency:
1) While it is true that large truck accidents only cause 12% of all road fatalities, it is also true that large, heavy trucks are only 4% of the vehicles on the roads. As well, truck accidents are four times more likely to cause fatalities for car and truck drivers than car crashes involving only passenger cars.
2) Large trucks, such as commercial trucks, are twice as likely as passenger cars to be involved in multiple-vehicle collisions. In fact, one quarter of passenger car fatalities in multiple-car crashes include a large truck.
3) Trucks are far more likely to hurt passenger vehicle occupants. In truck accidents, 75% of injuries are sustained by the passengers in another vehicle (often a passenger vehicle). 2% of injuries are incurred by people who are not passengers at all. These non-passengers are often pedestrians. 23% of injuries are sustained by passengers or vehicles in the truck. Similarly, 75% of all fatalities in large truck accidents involved the deaths of passengers in cars or other vehicles while 17% of fatalities involved the truck driver or truck passengers. About 8% of truck accident fatalities involved non-occupants, often pedestrians. Quite simply, the size of the truck often protects the driver and the truck’s passengers somewhat, while the force of the truck does considerable damage to surrounding vehicles in a collision.
4) According to advocacy groups, just one 80,000 tractor trailer truck can do similar damage to bridges and roadways as 9,600 cars together can cause. Large truck accidents cost over $41 billion damages a year, and this figure does not include the general wear and tear which trucks place on the roads – wear and tear that some experts claim costs the economy many billions of dollars in new infrastructure, repairs, and construction.