Big truck highway crashes are messy and terrifying. Imagine being smacked into oblivion by a runaway behemoth with an uncontrollable agenda?
Semi-trailer drivers routinely lose control of their rigs, and roadway crashes are truckers’ number-one cause of death. Drivers are more likely to die on the job than anywhere else.
Causes of Naples Truck Accidents
Load weight routinely exceeds predetermined safety limits
The more weight a big truck carries, the more likely it is to become unbalanced and get out of control. There are limits on the weight loads that big trucks can safely carry.
However, unethical and unscrupulous business practices allow for trailers to be overloaded to increase profits. When that happens, the rigs are even more treacherous.
Oversized loads are to blame for many big rig accidents. However, even loads that are well within the standard safety limits can cause great carnage.
When it comes to semi-trailer tractors, a safe load is still a heavy load, and the heavier the load, the more potential there is to wreak havoc on you, your vehicle, and other drivers.
The heavier the load, the stronger the impact
With so much weight behind it, a semi-trailer truck has a tremendous impact on everything it touches. Heavy loads impair a driver’s ability to stop even with plenty of time to brake. The cargo becomes a driving force with a life of its own that propels the rig forward, whether other vehicles are in the way.
For example, if you get hit by a semi-trailer truck going five miles per hour, the damages will be considerably worse than if you were hit five miles per hour by a smaller car. The size of a rig is also important. The larger the semi-truck, the more collision energy it will bring to a crash and the more harm it can inflict on others.
Hazardous cargo increases the risk of fatalities
Wrongful death due to a truck accident is especially high when dangerous cargo is in the mix. Hazardous loads are to blame for four percent of all fatal large truck collisions.
Flammable liquids, explosives, and other unstable compounds make driving imperative with extreme caution and the utmost care. These loads are especially likely to explode or catch on fire.
Truck Negligence Causing Accidents in Naples, FL
Human, driver, and operator errors are responsible for most big rig crashes. In a recent study, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that 88 percent of truck-related crashes are caused by truck driver error.
The FMCSA also studied large truck crash causation variables. They identified four error variables that they believe are responsible for many 18-wheeler smashups:
Nonperformance errors occur when a trucker stops interacting with the truck while the truck races forward at full speed. The most common nonperformance error is falling asleep at the wheel.
Drowsiness alone is enough to impair your ability to drive safely, even if you manage to stay awake. Sleepy drivers have a diminished capacity to focus on the road. They are more likely to make poor decisions, and they have slower reaction times if they have to brake or steer suddenly.
Trucking regulations prohibit drivers from working too many hours. At the same time, drivers are pressured by trucking companies to work more hours. The regulations governing how many hours a driver can work are routinely disregarded by trucking companies and truckers.
Decision errors are poor choices based on the bad judgment that increase the possibility of a pileup. These errors include tailgating smaller vehicles, speeding, and failing to employ safe driving practices during inclement weather.
Recognition errors occur when a driver does not correctly assess roadway conditions and, therefore, cannot respond accordingly. A driver can miss critical highway information that could have prevented a wreck within seconds. Driver distraction errors are recognition errors that occur when a driver looks away from the road.
Performance errors occur when drivers ignore basic safety precautions on the road. Examples include aggressive and reckless steering, transporting excessive loads, and failing to secure cargo adequately. Performance errors also include failing to yield the right of way and failing to adequately maintain a rig.
Injuries Related to Naples Truck Accidents
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most common injury victim of big truck wreck experience. The symptoms range from mild concussions to permanent neurological disorders. There are other common injuries as well:
- Broken bones in arms, legs, hips, ribs, and knees
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Organ damage
Life-changing Consequences of Being Hit by a Truck
If you are hit by a tractor-trailer, you are unlikely to emerge from the incident unscathed. Few people can withstand the profound impact of a direct or an indirect hit from an 18-wheeler. Travelers in passenger cars involved in big rig wrecks are more likely to have serious injuries than if the accident had involved only autos.
- You may lose the ability to earn a living and support a family.
- Your injuries may be permanent.
- Injuries from the truck accident may prevent you from participating in activities you were previously passionate about.
- Chronic pain can restrict your ability to function normally and prevent you from performing the tasks of daily living.
- Brain damage can affect your cognitive abilities and change how you process information.
- Semi-trailer accident survivors often develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance use disorder (SUD), or major depressive disorder in the aftermath of a big truck accident.
If you have been hurt in a tractor-trailer collision, contact a Naples truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. You may be entitled to these types of damages:
- Medical care and physical therapy
- Prescription drugs
- Medical equipment
- Present and future loss of income
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Temporary or permanent disabilities
- Loss of consortium
- Reduced ability to earn
- Impaired quality of life
Naples Truck Accidents Resulting in Wrongful Death
When someone dies due to another individual’s negligence, error, or malice, it’s called a wrongful death. The family may be entitled to compensation. To prevail in a wrongful death claim, you must clearly show that the death of a loved one was directly caused by the negligence of someone or something else.
A 2016 study revealed that over 11 percent of all large truck crashes resulted in fatalities. Thirteen percent of all fatal crashes involved big rigs.
Individuals in other vehicles are more likely to die in tractor-trailer smashups than semi-trailer occupants. A 2019 study found that in truck accidents involving two or more autos, 72 truck occupants died while 2,132 passenger vehicle occupants died.
Truck accident fatalities can be debilitating for families who lose loved ones. The emotional heartbreak of suddenly losing a mate or a child can cause life-long scars that never heal. Wrongful death can leave families destitute when the primary breadwinner is no longer there to help.
Compensation for wrongful death includes current and future income losses, medical care, funeral expenses, and damages for pain and suffering resulting from the loss.
Naples Truck Accidents Due To Driver Negligence
Negligent drivers increase the potential for deadly smashups. When you’re always on the road, it’s easy to miss vital cues that could prevent an accident. Drivers are especially likely to be negligent when they are not properly trained.
Many drivers are paid by the mile. They are more likely to speed and drive too fast for roadway conditions to maximize their earnings. The faster large vehicles go, the more damage they can cause in wrecks.
Truckers and trucking companies that skimp on big rig maintenance are putting themselves and others at risk. semi-trailers are already dangerous. Poorly maintained semi-trailers are even worse. These big trucks are seriously at risk for engine issues, failed brakes, blown tires, and defective lighting systems.
Driving under the influence could qualify as negligence if a trucking company fails to conduct regular drug and alcohol testing on its employees. Speeding, running red lights, ignoring stop signs, failing to signal turns, and executing illegal turns are all considered truck driver negligence.
To prove that a truck driver was negligent, you must clearly show that the driver failed to meet their duty of care. Drivers are required to take all reasonable precautions to prevent accidents. If they fail to do that, they are endangering other drivers and exposing them to the profound injuries that big truck collisions can cause.
Improperly Loaded Trucks Causing Accident in Naples, FL
A semi-trailer with a poorly secured load can lose its load while speeding down the highway and leave a trail of cargo in its wake. The lost cargo creates a disaster zone for approaching vehicles, and it can cause many accidents among the cars that get stuck in the aftermath.
If a trailer truck is improperly loaded, it can become so severely unbalanced while on the move that the result is a jackknife truck or an overturned rig. Fatalities and injuries caused by runaway cargo or an unbalanced load can result in driver liability in a negligence action represented by a Naples truck accident attorney.
Speak With a Naples Truck Accident Lawyer To Discuss Your Accident Case Today
If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a semi-trailer collision, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Call the Shiner Law Group now for a free case consultation. You only pay if you win.