The Role Trucking Companies Play In Truck Accidents And Injuries
Trucking accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. Inclement weather can decrease visibility, high winds and road conditions can make it hard to control tractor trailers and other big rigs, while dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence, can make truck accidents and injuries more likely to occur. While truck drivers are held accountable for damages caused by accidents, in some cases it is the trucking company itself and attitudes in the trucking industry that make these accidents more likely to occur.
Trucking Industry Under Pressure To Meet Increased Demands
With the increase in demand in consumer goods and products imported from other areas, the trucking industry faces pressure to keep up with these demands. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), over the last twenty years the total number of registered trucks has increased by 44 percent, while there has been an 85 percent increase in the total number of mile traveled. As a result, the overall number of truck accidents and injuries has increased as well.
OSHA reports that more than 470,000 trucks, each weighing as much as 10,000 pounds or more, are involved in truck accidents each year on roads, highways, and interstates throughout the United States. Due to these crashes, close to 5,400 people are killed and nearly 150,000 suffer serious injuries. While roughly a quarter of these injuries impact truck drivers, nearly two thirds involve drivers and passengers in other vehicles.
How Increased Demand Increases The Risk of Truck Accidents and Injuries
To meet increasing consumer demands, trucking companies may end up cutting corners in terms of driver and truck safety. According to truck accident causation studies conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), common factors involved in truck accidents include:
- Inexperienced drivers, who lack proper training;
- Pressure to work tighter, more demanding schedules, which can lead to driver fatigue and substance abuse;
- Exceeding cargo limits and rushed, improper loading, which can make a truck more likely to jackknife or tip over;
- Relying on old, outdated rigs and providing improper maintenance, resulting in tire blowouts, brake failure, engine malfunctions, and other mechanical issues.
In any of the above situations, the trucking companies itself can be held legally liable when accidents and injuries occur, either through a claim filed directly with their insurance carrier, or through a personal injury lawsuit.
How Our Trucking Accident Attorneys Can Help You
Due to their large weight and bulk, truck accidents often result in severe and potentially fatal injuries impacting both the truck driver and other motorists. Unfortunately, getting the trucking company to admit liability can prove challenging. With their own attorneys and insurance representatives working hard on their behalf to deny or downplay your claim, you need a strong legal advocate on your side, fighting for your rights and interests.
At the Wexler Law Firm, P.A., we provide the aggressive legal representation you need in these situations. Call or contact experienced Florida truck accident attorney, Gregg Wexler to request a free consultation in our West Palm Beach office to find out how we can assist you.