The consistency in the number of truck accidents on Florida’s I-4 are always worrisome. Despite changes in laws and other recommendations, Florida’s roads can still be dangerous for truck drivers.
According to the United States Department of Transportation, in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of fatalities due to truck accidents in Florida is on the rise and has been for several years. In fact, the number has increased by 4 percent since 2012. The statistics for specific highways and specific automobiles has been a bit more difficult to run down, but here’s what we learned.
I-4 has consistently ranked high in deadly highways and in 2016, it was named the deadliest highway in America. The highway, just 132 miles, connects Tampa to Daytona Beach and unfortunately, it’s experienced 1.41 fatalities per mile over the past six years.
A few of the Florida Automobile Accident Statistics for 2013 (the year of the most recent numbers), include the deaths of 768 drivers or passengers. This accounts for 32% of the deaths in accidents in Florida. Of those deaths, 427 people were killed in accidents involving a pickup or SUV. The deaths in SUVs and pickup trucks combined accounted for 18% of the deaths on Florida roads.
Big Truck Deaths in Florida
Not all trucks are the same. Again, using the most recent data, in 2008, 11 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities involved large trucks. In Florida, large trucks are defined as vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds. Seventy four percent of those deaths were inside the vehicles and the remaining 16 percent were occupants in the large trucks. Speeding accounts for more than 30 percent of fatal crashes in Florida.
Common Reasons for Big Truck Accidents
According to our truck accident lawyers, the most common reasons for big truck accidents on I-4 in Florida:
- Speeding drivers
- Drivers who are distracted (on their phones, changing radio settings, etc.)
- Drivers who are sleepy or fatigued
- Drivers who are inexperienced or not properly trained
- Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Trucks that do not have proper maintenance, such as poorly maintained brakes
- Trucks that have overloaded trailers
- Reckless driving
- Improper lights
- Poorly maintained safety systems
Did you know that an accident with a big truck in the United States occurs every 16 minutes? While it’s true that Florida truck accidents on I-4 are a reason for great concern, it’s also problematic around the country.
Many cite education as being an important path for reducing the number of big truck accidents. This applies to drivers and owners of these big trucks, but also extends to some degree to those the trucks share the roadways. By understanding some of the driving challenges, other drivers can better protect their own families and occupants. For instance, it can take the length of a football field for a big truck traveling 55 mph to come to a stop. While it’s not other drivers’ responsibility to know whether a big truck driver is driving responsibly, it can be a proactive step that can help prevent truck accidents on I-4 and elsewhere.