Recently in Truck Accidents Category

May 18, 2011

Coral Springs Personal Injury Lawyer Comments on Truck Accident that Injured Baby

A baby boy in Palm Beach County suffered personal injuries and was taken to the hospital after he was run over by his grandfather's pickup truck last Thursday. The 20-month-old toddler suffered a broken pelvis and is in stable condition.

It is a difficult state of affairs when a family member has to face such a tragedy. Thankfully the child survived. Unfortunately, there are far too many instances where children are inadvertently backed over by family members who, for whatever reason, are not aware that young children are in their vicinity. Sometimes the rear view cameras available on more expensive vehicles can prevent these incidents, but there have been cases where the child was even too small to be seen by the rearview camera.

Some similar stories have made headlines this year in Florida, but with more tragic consequences. Earlier in May, another 20-month-old boy was run over in the driveway of the family's home. The baby's father accidentally ran over him, causing injuries that led to the baby's death. In January, a 4-year-old girl died after being run over by her mother.

If the child does not live in the same household as the person who backed over them, even if that person is a relative, the family can collect for the injuries that that child has sustained as a result. These are very sensitive cases, of course, as pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against a family member is not an easy decision.

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July 28, 2009

Texting While Driving Can Lead to Serious Automobile Accidents

Although it may seem like common sense to many South Florida residents, a new study confirms that texting (or text messaging) while driving is the most dangerous cell phone task. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study showed that heavy truck drivers were 23 times more likely to crash than non-distracted drivers. The reason for the increase in the likelihood of automobile accidents is that texting drivers take their eyes off the road for nearly five seconds at a time which according to reports is enough time to travel the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour. Other cell phone tasks also increase the risk of car accidents including a 2.8 times higher risk of crashing while dialing the phone and a 1.3 times higher risk while talking on the phone.

An experiment conducted by Car and Driver Magazine showed that the reaction time of a driver attempting to brake is worse while sending and reading text messages than that of an impaired or drunk driver.  According to the article, one driver's reaction time decreased an average of 0.68 seconds while texting at 70 miles per hour compared to when braking without distraction.  At that speed, it took the driver an average of 70 additional feet to stop his vehicle while texting and driving.  The same driver's reaction time decreased by 0.04 seconds while attempting the same experiment while impaired.

Florida has yet to ban texting while driving and does not require the use of hands-free devices. There have been pushes in the Florida legislator to takes steps against these obviously dangerous driving activities including a bill re-introduced this year by Representative Doug Holder. Florida has also recently started the "Stay Alive ... Just Drive!" campaign which is aimed at preventing injury and death caused by automobile accidents through education and awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.

Even though Florida has not yet banned cell phone activities while driving, Florida drivers are still responsible for maintaining control of their vehicles at all times. There are far too many stories of distracted Florida drivers causing accidents that result in injuries to others including one driver that was so distracted she crashed into a police car. Although cell phone distraction stats are not specifically kept in Florida, they fall under the "distracted driver" category of accident causes which accounted for 15 fatalities and 1,436 injuries in Florida in 2008 according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

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June 9, 2009

Florida Company Sued in Trucking Accident that Killed Two

A Clearwater, Florida, man and his truck driving company, Stan Trucking, Inc., are being sued for negligence after he allegedly struck and killed two honeymooners in Las Vegas.  According to reports, the couple was stranded on the side of the road after their vehicle either ran out of gas or suffered a flat tire when they were struck by the driver and then again by another semi-truck driver that is also being sued.  Both drivers failed to stop after hitting the couple and later claimed they believed they had run over a pothole or bump in the road.  The family of the female victim is suing both drivers for failing to maintain safe distances, failing to pay proper attention, failing to stay in the proper lane, and driving too fast for the conditions at the time which they are alleged to have caused the trucking driving accident injuries and deaths.  The family is also suing the employer of  the second driver for negligent hiring, negligent training, and negligent supervision.

This unfortunate accident is indicative of the devastating effect of truck driving accidents and injuries.  According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 4,860 traffic accidents involved large trucks, including various configurations of tractors and trailers, in Florida in 2007.  These tractor-trailer accidents resulted in 321 fatalities and thousands of injuries.  Adding an additional layer of danger to these truck accidents, 137 accidents involved a truck carrying hazardous materials.

These trucking accidents can cause so much damage to property and inflict such serious injury because the speed and size of the trucks.  Many of these trucks weigh over 26,000 pounds and travel at incredible speeds.  The difference in the size and mass of the semi-truck compared to that of a human body or passenger vehicle makes it obvious why these vehicles cause such damage when they strike pedestrians and cars.

As in the case above, the truck driver is not always the sole party responsible for injuries and deaths caused by truck accidents.  Often times, the truck driving company also has a responsibility to ensure that their drivers are qualified, properly trained and supervised, and have a driving record that indicates they are safe drivers.  Failure to properly screen truck drivers prior to hiring or failure to review their current drivers' records may make trucking companies responsible for the injuries caused by their drivers even when those drivers are independent contractors.

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