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Dangers of large truck accidents

Every year on Florida's highways, people are seriously injured or killed in accidents involving large trucks. The state is not alone in the problems associated with large truck accidents, however, as they occur with regularity around the country. Even though many regulations exist to govern the industry, fatalities and injuries continue to take place.

Demonstrating a 4 percent increase over the number of fatalities in 2011, 3,921 people died nationwide in accidents involving large trucks in 2012. Approximately 104,000 people were seriously injured.

The most common causes of truck accidents caused by commercial truck drivers include driver fatigue due to driving an excessive amount of hours, compensation that is dependent on quick delivery leading to speeding, poor training regarding defensive driving techniques and company expectations that are unrealistic, resulting in drivers driving despite safety risks. Passenger vehicle drivers should employ caution when passing trucks or driving around them. Accidents caused by passenger vehicle drivers often result from failing to signal when passing a truck, improperly changing lanes, driving in the truck driver's blind spots, turning left in front of a truck and failing to merge appropriately.

When people are killed or seriously injured in truck accidents due to the negligent driving behavior of the other drivers, the families of those killed or the injured victims may have grounds for filing civil lawsuits. In the event the party who is at fault is the truck driver, both the driver as well as the company for whom the driver was working may be liable. Personal injury lawsuits may allow victims to recover damages for their losses, which in the case of an injured party can include the costs of medical care and treatment as well as compensation for lost earnings.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Large Trucks", accessed on Jan. 16, 2015

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