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Commercial Vehicles May Pose Unique Risks To Other Motorists

Commercial trucks[1] and other vehicles are often designed to perform highly specialized functions that are often essential to everyday life. For example, garbage trucks in many areas are equipped with lifting arms that allow them to pick up dumpsters with minimal intervention from crewmembers. Similarly, tanker trucks are designed to safely transport often dangerous liquids or gases, and dump trucks are built specifically to haul large amounts of loose material such as sand or gravel and unload it at a specific site. While these specialized commercial vehicles undoubtedly make certain tasks significantly easier, they also can present unique risks to other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists who happen to be in their vicinity.

When commercial vehicles cause injury, victims are often able to recover for their losses by filing a Florida personal injury[2] lawsuit. After an accident, it is important for victims to act quickly, as Florida’s statute of limitations on personal injury claim places a strict time limit on how long people have to file a legal claim. At the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our experienced team of Clearwater, Florida personal injury attorneys is dedicated to helping people injured in commercial truck accidents obtain justice through the Florida Courts. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at (727) 451-6900.

Many of the various types of commercial vehicles that can be seen around Clearwater and the rest of Florida on a daily basis can pose risks because of their function-specific design. Some of the more common are detailed below.


Semi-trucks, which are also often referred to as “tractor-trailers” or “18-wheelers,” belong to a category of vehicles known as “articulated vehicles.” This term refers to vehicles that are made up of multiple sections connect by moveable joints and also includes trains, trams, and buses, heavy equipment, or military vehicles that share a similar construction.

The presence of an articulated joint allows longer vehicles to be more maneuverable than they would be if they had a fixed body construction, but also makes them vulnerable to specific accidents that are known as “jackknife accidents.” Jackknife accidents occur when the trailer of a truck swings out from behind the truck’s cab and folds against it, resembling the action of a folding knife. In many cases, the jackknifed section can travel a significant distance while perpendicular to the motion of the vehicle, causing significant damage to anything in its path. These accidents can be caused by a number of issues, but some of the most common include improper braking, speeding, high winds, and improperly loaded or secured cargo.

Garbage trucks

Garbage trucks are seen on a daily basis around densely populated areas such as Clearwater and the surrounding cities. While they generally do not share the articulated construction of semi-trucks, they nevertheless pose other risks that have the potential to cause serious injury. These vehicles are designed to haul and in many cases compact trash, so they necessarily have a bulky frame that often has hydraulic equipment attached to it in various places. This construction can have a significant impact on a driver’s ability to see around his or her vehicle, increasing the risk of an inadvertent collision. In addition, these vehicles often make frequent stops and operate in tight spaces such as alleys or densely populated residential areas, further increasing the likelihood of an accident.

Flatbed Trucks

Flatbed trucks are designed for oversized cargo that would not be able to fit into standard sized vehicles. They are often seen hauling things such as lumber, industrial equipment, prefabricated construction materials, and even entire homes. Because the bed is open, the cargo that they haul is usually not as well secured as it would be in a truck with an enclosed trailer. In the event of an accident of if the cargo was improperly secured, runaway cargo can cause significant injury to anyone who may be nearby.

Contact a Clearwater personal injury lawyer today to schedule a free consultation

Individuals who have been injured in accidents involving commercial vehicles can often recover significant compensation for their injuries and other losses. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today at (727) 451-6900.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756



[1] https://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811868.pdf
[2] https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/