Drivers in Fort Lauderdale quickly grow familiar with dump trucks on the road. Dump trucks help transport garbage, construction materials, and other essentials. However, as they go through Fort Lauderdale’s residential neighborhoods, they may pose a significant danger to everyone around them.
Why Do Dump Truck Accidents Occur Often in Fort Lauderdale?
Dump trucks may remain a common sight on the road, but roads do not necessarily have adequate precautions and support to allow those drivers to navigate safely.
1. Uneven Roads
Uneven roads throughout Fort Lauderdale can pose a danger to dump truck drivers. As construction continues throughout I-95, for example, many drivers have noticed tilting and bouncing challenges as they move down the road. Those uneven roads can mean serious trouble for dump truck drivers, with their top-heavy vehicles and greater risk of tipping over.
Uneven roads can make it more difficult for any driver to keep his vehicle safely on the road. Drivers of dump trucks and other big trucks can face greater dangers due to the vehicle’s larger size and top-heavy design. Dump trucks may have a harder time navigating potential dangers and a greater likelihood of tipping over when encountering uneven roads.
2. Top-Heavy Vehicles
Many dump trucks include a top-heavy design, especially as the vehicle fills up. Dump trucks have heavy beds designed to take on a lot of cargo. Those beds, however, sit high on the truck.
The top-heavy design can increase the odds that dump trucks will end up in a rollover accident in various scenarios.
- Turning too sharply. Dump truck drivers, like other drivers, may react strongly to perceived problems on the road, increasing the odds that they will end up rolling the vehicle over.
- Uneven pavement. Uneven pavement and top-heavy vehicles may not interact well, increasing the risk of a collision.
- Falling off the edge of the pavement. In many residential neighborhoods with sharp drops, dump trucks may have a greater overall risk of an accident.
- High winds. In high winds, dump trucks may have a greater risk of tipping over than smaller vehicles with designs that sit lower to the ground.
Top-heavy vehicles like dump trucks may pose an unexpected danger out on the road since many drivers may not realize that they must look out for those hazards.
3. Uneven Loading
Often, dump truck drivers have little choice about how the vehicle gets loaded. Unlike other big truck drivers, who may carefully arrange their cargo to reduce the potential for an accident, dump truck drivers may have to simply pick up things as they move along their route. That means they can end up with lighter objects at the bottom of the dump truck and heavier ones at the top. Unfortunately, that can further unbalance the heavy dump trucks on the streets of Fort Lauderdale.
4. Dangerous Intersections
Dump trucks often have to go down Fort Lauderdale’s streets, including potentially dangerous intersections like those on Sunrise Boulevard and Andrews Avenue or Alton Road and Dade Boulevard.
Navigating those dangerous intersections can prove difficult enough for the driver of a passenger vehicle. Dump trucks, however, may need more time to slow or stop and more room to maneuver. That means that dangerous intersections can prove particularly complicated for the drivers of those vehicles, increasing the risk of an accident.
5. Poor Visibility
Dump trucks, like other large trucks, have large blind spots—areas around the vehicle where the driver cannot clearly see the actions taken by other vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists. Unfortunately, that poor visibility can prove particularly damaging for dump truck drivers, who often need to navigate in tight residential neighborhoods.
In residential neighborhoods, dump truck drivers also have greater odds of encountering children walking or cycling on the road. However, if the driver cannot see the children around him, he cannot avoid them, which can mean a significant injury in an accident.
6. Driver Distraction
Driving while distracted can prove incredibly dangerous for anyone on the road. However, those dangerous actions can prove even more detrimental for dump truck drivers. Dump truck drivers often spend hours on the road each day, driving just a short distance between one location and another as they pick up trash.
They may also spend much time waiting on construction sites or in other areas where they need to make pickups. Unfortunately, that can increase the risk that drivers will grow distracted behind the wheel, which can, in many cases, lead to devastating collisions. Distracted drivers lose track of the events around them, from another vehicle trying to pass a dump truck stopped to pick up trash to a child running out into the road. Unfortunately, that means that distraction can prove deadly on the streets of Fort Lauderdale.
Dump truck drivers can give into the temptations of speeding. Dump trucks are already more difficult to maneuver than the average passenger vehicle. At high speeds, drivers must have faster reaction times to avoid a potential collision.
Unfortunately, drivers may choose to speed for several reasons: often, to shorten the time they have to spend on the road or to get off the road and go home sooner. Dump truck drivers may also speed up to make up for the time they may have missed earlier in the day. For example, if they got stuck waiting for a delivery or took longer than anticipated part of the route due to traffic jams or hazards in the road, the driver might choose to speed later to make up for that time and get off the job sooner.
8. Driving While Drowsy
Driving all day can prove difficult and stressful. In many cases, as the day progresses, drivers may find themselves growing increasingly drowsy. Furthermore, dump truck drivers may need to hurry behind the wheel even on days when they did not get adequate sleep the night before or had problems that may have interfered with their ability to get adequate rest.
Dump truck routes may also prove very boring: dump truck drivers may, for example, drive very short periods between pickups or drive the same route repeatedly throughout the day as they take multiple loads to the dump.
Drowsy drivers, however, can face some of the same dangers as distracted or drunk drivers. Drowsy drivers often have difficulty keeping their attention on the road and may suffer from a higher risk of tunnel vision. Furthermore, drowsy dump truck drivers may even fall asleep behind the wheel.
9. Weather Conditions
Like other areas of Florida, Fort Lauderdale may suffer from heavy rains, tropical storms, and hurricanes. Those potentially dangerous weather conditions can cause many problems for Fort Lauderdale dump truck drivers.
Dump truck drivers often feel pressured to complete their routes even in bad weather conditions. They may have deadlines they have to meet or know that people rely on them to meet their goals and complete their routes each day.
Dangerous weather conditions, however, can increase risks on the road in several ways. First, dangerous weather conditions can make it more difficult for dump truck drivers to keep their vehicles on the road since slippery roads may increase the risk of accidents. Second, dangerous weather can interfere with visibility and make it more difficult for dump truck drivers to see what happens around them.
10. Poor Maintenance on Dump Trucks
Regular maintenance keeps dump trucks safe by ensuring that:
- The tires have not sustained excessive wear and tear.
- The engine keeps running smoothly.
- The brakes remain fully operational, for example.
Unfortunately, many companies do not take care of maintenance when they should. Performing maintenance tasks often means the dump truck must come off the road for some time. Major maintenance can even take several days to complete. As a result, trucking companies, garbage companies, construction companies, and anyone needing a dump truck may push to keep the truck on the road for as long as possible before performing maintenance tasks. Sometimes, that can mean that the truck breaks down. A mechanical failure can lead to a devastating accident.
11. Wide Turns
Dump truck drivers generally realize they have poor visibility around their blind spots. They may also need more room to maneuver, especially if the vehicle grows heavier or more unwieldy due to a large or poorly-balanced load.
Wide turns, however, can increase the risk of accidents, especially if other drivers do not realize that the dump truck needs that extra room to maneuver. Wide turn accidents can also cause dump trucks throughout Fort Lauderdale to tip over if the driver attempts to correct them in the middle of the turn.
After a Dump Truck Accident in Fort Lauderdale: Protecting Yourself
A dump truck accident in Fort Lauderdale, whether on a residential street as a dump truck pulled out unexpectedly or on a highway due to the dump truck’s large blind spots, can lead to catastrophic injuries and a long road to recovery. Many people struggle to navigate the complicated aftermath of a dump truck collision. You may have reported the accident and gone straight to the hospital for treatment for those injuries, but what comes next?
1. Check Over the Accident Report
Get a copy of the police report from your Fort Lauderdale dump truck accident and check over it for accuracy. Ensure it has the right date and time and other information about the accident. If the report contains inaccurate information, it could make it difficult for you to establish your right to compensation.
2. Contact a Lawyer
Many companies, including construction companies, have extensive legal teams dedicated to reducing the compensation the company has to pay out as much as possible. As a result, you can miss out on the compensation you deserve for the injuries and damages you sustained because of the accident.
A lawyer can help you fight for the compensation you deserve and provide more information about your rights after a dump truck accident, from breaking down the damages you sustained to seeking evidence that the truck driver’s negligent actions caused your accident. By working with a dump truck accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, many people feel much more confident about the eventual outcome of their claims.
3. Take Care of Your Medical Needs
Do not ignore any pain or challenges arising from your dump truck accident. Pay attention to the instructions provided by your medical care provider. Did your doctor indicate that you needed to do specific exercises or go through specific medical procedures? Do you need to avoid specific activities while you recover?
Carefully follow those instructions and take care of all those medical needs since the insurance company may not pay for any damages caused by your own negligence.
4. Document the Challenges That Go Along With Your Recovery
Document both the financial and non-financial damages that go along with your recovery. Make a note of your ongoing medical bills, including co-pays and deductibles, and document the struggles you have faced while recovering from your dump truck accident.
Get Help With Your Fort Lauderdale Dump Truck Accident Claim
If you suffered injuries in a Fort Lauderdale dump truck accident, do not try to handle your claim alone. Instead, contact a Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer as soon after your accident as possible to get more information about who bears liability for your accident and help with your claim.