Florida ranks as one of the top 10 states for truck accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 1,500 people died in Florida truck crashes over five recent years. That’s over 1,500 preventable tragedies in our state. And it doesn’t even account for the thousands of people who suffered incapacitating injuries each year.
The massive size difference between tractor-trailers and passenger cars means those wrecks are among the worst on the road. When you’re struck by an 80,000-pound truck, the chances of walking away with minor injuries are slim.
Fortunately, you can protect yourself and others by following these tips when you’re driving near a commercial truck:
- Stay out of the truck’s blind spots. All vehicles have blind spots, but trucks have the largest ones. A truck’s blind spots, or “No Zones,” are located on all four sides of the truck and can extend across multiple lanes of traffic. If you can’t see the truck driver in their mirrors, they cannot likely see you.
- Allow more space for turning: Trucks need extra room to make turns and swing wide to get around corners. Don’t get too close to a truck when it’s turning — you could get pinned.
- Keep a longer following distance: Tailgating is never a good idea. But if you’re too close to the rear of a truck, the driver can’t see you. You can’t see around the truck, either. This can lead to dangerous rear-end collisions or underride accidents. Stay about 20 car lengths from the end of an 18-wheeler.
- Don’t cut in front: Zipping in front of a truck makes you invisible to the driver.
- Take splashes into account: Trucks have larger tires. When they’re traveling through one of Florida’s soaking storms, they’re going to kick up a lot of water that can impact your visibility. Keep your windshield wipers in good working order and stay back to minimize the worst of the splashes.
- Don’t linger between two trucks. If you’re stuck between two 18-wheelers, pass as soon as it’s safe to do so.
When You Need a Tampa Truck Accident Lawyer
If you were hurt in a truck accident in central Florida, you need to call an experienced truck accident attorney right away. Truck accident law involves both state and federal regulations. You need someone who understands how those laws work and can use them to demand maximum compensation on your behalf.