Florida – July 13, 2021

The Florida Turnpike was closed down on July 13, 2021 for hours after two semi-tractor trailer trucks crashed and caught on fire as reported by Florida Highway Patrol.  The accident occurred near Kissimmee Park Road and left one driver injured after causing a fuel spill which ignited one of the trucks.  Osceola County Fires Rescue and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and the highway opened after an environmental containment crew extinguished the fire and cleaned up the highway.  Florida accident victims should contact experienced truck accident attorneys after an accident leads to injury and property damage in Florida.

Increased dangers of tractor-trailer trucks.

Trucks, by their very size are a danger on most United States highways, but those carrying toxic chemicals cause more risk to other motorists.  Truck drivers are trained on the operation of these supersized vehicles, and in most cases have the ability to manage the cumbersome size and specialized controls in their vehicles to enable safe operation. Florida’s crowded highways, bridges and overpasses are a big factor for dangerous truck encounters and why the state makes the list of those with higher numbers of truck accidents out of the over 500,000 that occur each year.

Driver actions that may cause accidents.

  • Swinging turns – swinging turns cause truck accidents as a large truck moves to the left before making a right turn.  If there are other vehicles in the truck’s path as it swings outward to navigate the turn are in danger of being hit by the truck unless the driver can react in time and has observed the other vehicles in the surrounding traffic.
  • Inability to brake – due to weight of truck or increased cargo load.  Short stopping distances are unlikely for a large truck so they must follow at a safe distance, and be mindful of the weight changes of their cargo.
  • Tire blowouts – often occur in the Summer months when the weather is hot and long driving occurs with heavy cargo loads.  The blowouts can be caused by underinflation, overloading, potholes or bad roadway conditions, and a lapse in maintenance.
  • Driver training – if drivers are not aware of routes that facilitate height and weight of a tractor trailer, they can inadvertently end up in situations where the size of their vehicle becomes a danger to themselves, other drivers and the road, bridge, or tunnel structures.
  • Overloaded cargo – overloading, improperly loading and cargo that is not secure can lead to jack knife conditions, rollovers, and cargo spills.

Driver fault and insurance.

Commercial Motor Vehicles require additional liability insurance under Florida Statute 627.7415.  Florida Statute 627.7415, and Bodily Injury Insurance. Certain trucks and commercial vehicles in the State of Florida must carry bodily injury liability coverage, which is additional protection against claims from others for personal injuries an accident with a truck. After a truck accident, legal professionals will collect and analyze all pertinent data related to a truck accident and determine driver fault which may impact the way the case is settled.

Florida  is a “no fault” insurance state with regard to accidents, so an accident victim may seek compensation from their own insurance to cover immediate expenses.  If the damages are too severe, and over the policy limits, victims may need to initiate a lawsuit to recover residual compensation related to an accident.

Hire an attorney.

Hiring an experienced truck accident attorney in Florida, who is familiar with trucking industry laws, is in the best interests of accident victims who have been injured.  They will research possible negligent actions that may have caused the crash, and valuate damage settlement requests to address the bodily injury and property damage suffered.

Sources:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0600-0699/0627/Sections/0627.7407.html

https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/627.7415

https://www.flhsmv.gov/pdf/crashreports/crash_facts_2019.pdf

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