Pompano Beach isn't only known for its three miles of beaches and high walkability score. In addition to attracting tourists who add an important pillar to the state's economy, Pompano Beach is a major distribution and warehouse submarket for Broward County, with ample access to airports and seaports and a business-friendly attitude. Pompano Beach boasts direct access to I-95, Florida's Turnpike, and other major transportation routes.
This brings a lot of truck traffic to Pompano Beach—and truck accidents.
Suppose a commercial truck injured you. An experienced Pompano Beach truck accident lawyer from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury. We can also tell you more about our legal team and the services we can provide to assist you with your claim. Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for your free case evaluation.
Table of Contents
- How Truck Accidents Occur in Pompano Beach
- The Types of Injuries Associated with Truck Accidents
- Seeking Compensation for Your Pompano Beach Truck Accident Injuries
- Contact a Pompano Beach Truck Accident Attorney Today
- Pompano Beach Truck Accident FAQs
How Truck Accidents Occur in Pompano Beach
Commercial trucks are tall, long, heavy vehicles. Because of their size, they are more difficult to maneuver than other vehicles.
Some of the size-related difficulties involved in the operation of commercial trucks include:
- An increased stopping distance due to the vehicle's weight. Braking is a process where a driver perceives a hazard on the roadway, responds by braking, and the brakes stop the vehicle.
- Wide turns when negotiating sharp corners require the truck driver to swing the wheels into adjacent travel lanes to complete the turn.
- Blind spots on all four sides of the vehicle make it difficult for a driver to know if someone is traveling closely behind them, alongside them in an adjacent lane, or has cut them off by entering a travel lane directly in front of them.
- A high center of gravity makes the truck prone to rolling over when taking curves or corners at speed, particularly if the cargo is improperly loaded and out of balance.
I-95 is a major interstate corridor extending from South Florida to Maine, and it runs directly through Pompano Beach. The interstate has been ranked the second deadliest in the nation, The longest segment of I-95 is in Florida, and South Florida is often the final stop on a long journey for many truckers. Broward County sees more than 3,000 accidents yearly involving commercial motor vehicles, resulting in more than 700 injuries and several fatalities.
Here is a look at some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Pompano Beach.
Truck Driver Fatigue
As mentioned, south Florida is often the journey's end for truck drivers arriving from other places. The drivers have often been traveling for hours or even days, sleeping in trucks, and working on tight deadlines. All of these factors increase the risk of truck driver fatigue. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)—the agency tasked with overseeing and regulating the trucking industry—fatigued truck drivers cause 13 percent of truck accidents.
Truck driver fatigue is a big enough concern for traffic safety experts that the FMCSA instituted Hours of Service rules. These rules require truck drivers to take regular off-duty breaks while driving and prohibit them from driving too many hours a day. Drivers must electronically log their hours to document their compliance with the law and make that information available after an accident.
Speeding is a major cause of all types of traffic accidents. It refers not only to traveling faster than the posted speed limit but also to driving faster than the traffic or weather conditions will safely allow. Speeding reduces the time the driver needs to see and respond to hazards on the roadway while simultaneously increasing the distance the vehicle will travel before it comes to a complete stop.
It is also hard for other drivers to accurately judge a safe gap in traffic in which to enter a roadway if a speeding vehicle is approaching, increasing the risk of a broadside accident. Speeding is one of the violations of federal trucking regulations that can result in a driver losing their commercial driving privileges.
Distracted driving, particularly texting and driving, is another of the most common causes of any motor vehicle accident. There are three driving distractions: manual, visual, and cognitive. Texting is of such concern to traffic safety experts because it features all three types of distractions as it causes the driver to take their hands from the wheel, their eyes from the road, and their thoughts from the task of driving safely. FMCSA regulations prohibit truck drivers from using handheld devices while operating a commercial motor vehicle.
While texting and driving is a common distraction for drivers of all types of vehicles, truck drivers are also commonly distracted by eating, drinking, adjusting vehicle controls or GPS, communicating with their dispatcher, or external distractions such as work zones.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded and travel hundreds of miles daily. This causes certain vehicle parts to wear out faster than a passenger car. Certain vehicle defects, including blown tires or issues with the steering or brake systems, can result in a loss of vehicle control. Even if the truck driver does not lose control of the vehicle, having a disabled tractor-trailer on the roadway increases the risk of other drivers colliding with it.
Truck owners—including trucking companies and independent owner/operators—must commit to a regular maintenance schedule for the vehicle. Additionally, truck drivers are required to visually inspect all of the vehicle's systems before each trip to ensure that there are no signs of wear that could present a safety hazard.
Lack of Experience
Truck drivers must obtain a special license known as a commercial driver's license to operate the vehicle on public roadways. While obtaining this license requires the driver to take a test showing that they know the basics of its operation and the trucking industry requirements, the education necessary to pass the test does not cover all of the rigors of the day-to-day job of driving a commercial vehicle.
The years-long truck driver shortage in the U.S. is increasing stress for the industry. The American Trucking Association reports that it will need to recruit one million new drivers in the next decade to meet demand. This means that trucking companies have little time to undergo extensive training or mentorship programs for these new drivers, and many will get behind the wheel without fully understanding the techniques necessary to operate the truck safely.
Failure to Yield the Right-of-Way
Failure to yield accidents often occur at intersections when one driver fails to stop at a red light or stop sign. One of the most common types of accidents resulting from a driver failing to yield is a broadside (T-bone) accident, which occurs when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another. This is a particularly deadly type of accident even when two passenger cars are involved. It is even more catastrophic if one of the vehicles involved is a commercial truck.
Unfamiliarity with the Roadway
New and well-seasoned drivers can experience a route change or hire on with a company that covers other areas, such as Pompano Beach. Cities experiencing rapid growth, as Pompano Beach has, often feature work zones along roadways, changes in traffic alignment, and even detours that can be headache-inducing for residents and confusing, chaotic, and even dangerous for those traveling to or through the city to transport freight.
Not all traffic accidents are the result of a negligent driver. Negligently manufactured parts on commercial trucks can lead to accidents.
Each year, the number of recalled vehicles—including commercial and personal—outnumbers the vehicles sold in the U.S.
Unfortunately for trucking companies, driving a vehicle with defective parts can result in life-altering or even life-ending accidents but recalls impact their bottom line because they always mean the truck will be down while the repair is taking place.
Manufacturers and distributors of parts used on commercial trucks or other vehicles must ensure that these parts do not pose unreasonable risks to others when used according to labeled instructions.
Three types of manufacturing defects can result in a vehicle recall, including:
- Design defects occur during the engineering phase of the product's creation and generally affect many products that use that design. These recalls can affect hundreds of thousands of vehicles.
- Manufacturing defects occur due to an error or irregularity at the plant. These defects generally affect one or more lots or products produced at the same plant during the same timeframe.
- Packaging defects usually involve an issue with the part's instruction label, such as a failure to warn of a potential risk related to the part or a failure to adequately instruct the consumer on how to use the part safely.
Pompano Beach gets around 61 inches of rain each year—far more than the U.S. average of 38 inches. Rain can make roads slick, particularly since the water tends to draw the oily residue produced by vehicles on the roadway to the surface of the asphalt. As previously noted, a commercial truck requires a longer distance to stop due to the vehicle's weight. This distance is increased further by wet or slippery surfaces.
While the weather can factor in some truck accidents, risky driving behaviors like speeding in bad weather constitute negligence. You cannot hold the weather liable for an accident. However, you can hold a commercial truck driver liable if they didn't prepare for the weather, such as by having bald tires.
The Types of Injuries Associated with Truck Accidents
Due to the size and weight of the truck being many times larger than that of the average passenger car, truck accidents most often result in injuries or death to the occupants of other vehicles. The injuries sustained in truck accidents are often catastrophic, meaning they have a high likelihood of producing permanent injuries that will prevent the victim from being able to earn an income or live independently. Examples of catastrophic injuries include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, severe spinal vertebrae or discs damage, traumatic limb amputation, or loss of hearing or sight.
Other types of injuries commonly associated with truck accidents include broken bones, lacerations, burns, and internal injuries.
Seeking Compensation for Your Pompano Beach Truck Accident Injuries
If a Pompano Beach truck accident injured you, you can seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury through the personal injury claims process. This process involves first seeking compensation from the at-fault party's liability insurance provider. If the provider fails to pay the claim, you can file suit so that a judge or jury can determine who you can hold liable and what compensation you deserve.
Read on for answers to questions we frequently ask about seeking compensation through a truck accident claim in Pompano Beach.
Contact a Pompano Beach Truck Accident Attorney Today
If a Pompano Beach truck accident injured you, the experienced legal team from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury. We start with your free case evaluation.
With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach us at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH) or write to us using our online contact page.
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