According to 2006 research by from the U.S. Department of Transportation, most truck accidents are caused by car drivers, not truck drivers. According to the study, truck drivers are the at-fault drivers in 36% of collisions while car drivers are at fault in 64% of accidents. A study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute concluded that cars and light vehicles were in fact at fault in up to 81% of collisions. According to researchers, the biggest mistakes motorists made included:
1) Treating trucks like cars. Many motorists in Florida treat commercial trucks just like any other car on the road – and this attitude can lead to car accidents in Miami and other communities. The reality is, commercial trucks are more apt to make stops. They also take longer to stop and to get up to speed, so they require more room on the road.
2) Speeding. When motorists speed, they can easily cause a traffic accident in Miami or their community. Commercial trucks take longer to come to a complete stop when compared with a passenger vehicle. When a motorist speeds around a commercial truck and drive recklessly, the truck driver may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision. Driving around commercial trucks requires more caution and care.
3) Not staying in a lane. Weaving in and out between trucks is very dangerous, not only because trucks cannot stop as easily, but also because trucks have multiple blind spots they may not see motorists creeping up behind them to pass.
4) Improper following. Tailgating motorists cause many truck accidents in Miami and South Florida each year. Truck drivers cannot see cars immediately behind them, so they may inadvertently back up into any vehicle tailing too closely. In addition, trucks sometimes roll back slightly when coming to a complete stop – especially on a steep incline or hill. If a car is too close to the truck, it may be struck.
5) Distracted driving. Truck drivers are forbidden by federal regulations from texting and driving. However, there is currently no similar ban in place for motorists driving passenger vehicles. As a result, many car accidents are caused by cell phones and other forms of distraction.
6) Not understanding squeeze play. When trucks turn, they often swing wide. If car drivers are not cautious and provide trucks with extra room, they may get caught between the truck and the curb on a turn, a situation which can easily lead to the smaller vehicle being crushed.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Miami or anywhere in South Florida, it is natural to have questions about what caused the accident. You may also have questions about insurance, your legal rights, and about compensation you may claim. The Flaxman Law Group may be of assistance. The Flaxman Law Group offers free, no obligation consultations to all new clients who are looking for answers about their case and their rights. Your free consultation is a chance to learn whether you have a case – and to learn whether you qualify for compensation under Florida law.