A man died early Wednesday morning after a crash that wedged his car under an 18-wheeler tractor trailer near 38th Avenue N and 40th Street. According to St. Petersburg police, the 25-year-old driver, who was from St. Petersburg, was headed west on 38th Avenue shortly before 6 a.m. in a 2013 Honda Civic. The 59-year-old driver of the tractor-trailer, from Iowa, was headed south on 42nd Street N when he turned in front of the Honda. The driver of the Honda Civic was unable to avoid the truck, police said. His car was dragged and wedged under the tractor-trailer and he died at the scene.
Florida Vehicle/Truck Accidents
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides that in 2015 there were 373,524 total crashes in the state of Florida. 19,031 of those crashes took place in Pinellas County alone with 1,404 involving motor vehicles. The department also provides that in the first few weeks of 2016, Pinellas County has recorded 1,657 collisions, 115 of which involve commercial vehicles.
Causes of St. Petersburg Auto/Truck Crashes
Many semi-truck accidents occur when a driver attempts a left turn, due to any of the following:
- Some drivers will turn quickly through a yellow (or even red) traffic light in order to avoid another turn sitting in traffic. Truck drivers are under enormous pressure to meet deadlines, making it tempting for them to speed through lights. Unfortunately, if the car traveling straight is also trying to “beat the light,” they may collide at the intersection.
- Failure to look. Truckers must properly scan all of their mirrors as well as the areas near and around their vehicles before attempting a difficult maneuver. If a driver neglects to check crosswalks, sidewalks, or other traffic lanes before attempting a turn, he may be held liable for causing an accident.
- Although texting and using handheld devices is strictly forbidden for commercial fleet drivers, some truckers will still attempt to combat the long hours in their cab by multi-tasking. Using a tablet, computer, television, radio or other device can pull a driver’s attention away from the wheel, while eating and texting also require the use of his hands.
- Driver fatigue. Long hours behind the wheel can easily dull reaction times and impair the judgment of a driver. A tired driver is more likely to attempt risky maneuvers, misjudge gaps in traffic, and ignore the warning signs of oncoming dangers.
- Drug use. Truckers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol are a major hazard on the roads. Controlling an 18-wheeler takes a sharp mind and quick reflexes, but drugged drivers are often inattentive and may freeze or overcorrect when faced with potential dangers.
- Lack of training. As controlling a passenger vehicle is far different from hauling a trailer, drivers should always undergo an extensive amount of training before being entrusted to handle a semi-truck. A trucker should be tested regularly on his ability to back up safely, stop in time to avoid a collision, and turn left in front of an oncoming vehicle without forcing the oncoming car to slam on its brakes to avoid a crash.
Semi Left-Turn Accidents in Florida May be the Fault of the Trucker
In many instances, the responsibility for an accident with a vehicle turning left is placed with the driver of the left-turning vehicle. This is because the driver turning left has a responsibility to scan the road before attempting the change in direction.
St. Petersburg Automobile Accident Lawyers
If you were involved in an automobile accident, where a truck driver or other vehicle turned left across your driving path, they may be responsible for your damages including lost wages. It is important to speak to a St. Petersburg automobile accident lawyer. The attorneys at the Dolman Law Group are skilled auto accident attorneys who will work to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact Dolman Law Group today at 727-222-6922 to schedule your free legal case evaluation and consultation.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712