Interstate 95 is a significant roadway in Florida and throughout the southeastern United States. Passenger and commercial vehicles alike rely on this long stretch of busy road to get people and places where they need to go. While this interstate can make for quicker travel, it also makes for riskier travel. Part of the reason it is riskier is due to the fact that so many semi-trucks use I-95 to carry their loads. These vehicles are much larger and heavier than others on the road. If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck accident on I-95, contact a skilled Palm Beach County truck accident attorney as soon as possible for assistance.
Causes of Large Truck Accidents on I-95
Big rig accidents can be caused by a number of factors, many unique to driving such an enormous vehicle that carries large loads.
Brake Malfunctions: Most trucks have air brakes that are supposed to stop a loaded tractor-trailer truck in approximately 100 feet when traveling at speeds of 35-40 mph. However, when brake system malfunctions or failures occur, these 80,000-pound vehicles morph into a deadly force on the interstate. Even when a truck driver continuously pumps their brakes as experts recommend, malfunctions can still happen, resulting in a dangerous situation.
Rollovers: Rollovers are the most common type of truck accident. If a driver loses control of their truck and begins sliding to the side, any obstruction, such as a curb, uneven ground, guardrail, or another vehicle, can trip up the truck and cause a rollover. A semi that turns too aggressively or sharply is also at risk of rolling over, particularly if it’s carrying a full load or one that isn’t balanced correctly. Big rig rollovers are dangerous and severe, resulting in high injury and fatality rates.
Blind Spots: All drivers, no matter the size or type of their vehicle, must learn to manage their blind spots. Trucks have large “no zone” blind spot areas that can potentially result in an accident. Trucks’ blind spots are on their left and right sides and following too closely behind. Keep in mind that in general, if you can’t see the driver of the truck, they can’t see you.
Swinging Turns: When trucks cause a collision while turning, it is known as a “squeeze play” or swinging turn crash. Swinging turn accidents can occur one of three ways:
- When a semi-truck swings left to make a right turn (or swings right to make a left turn)
- When a semi-truck makes too wide of a turn, colliding with other vehicles head-on
- Squeezing out other vehicles next to the truck by not turning wide enough
Tire Blowout/Worn Out Tires: You don’t have to drive down any highway very far to find the scores of stripped tires and tread alongside and sometimes even hazardously in the middle of the road. With their heavy loads and long travel distances, trucks experience substantial wear and tear on their tires. Tire blowouts can quickly result in an accident, causing severe injury or death. Truckers and their employers should be checking to ensure tires are properly inflated and replaced when they become too worn out.
Overloaded Cargo: There are certain limitations as to how much weight a truck can carry at one time. In Florida and many other states, interstate haulers can’t exceed the maximum gross weight allowance of 80,000 pounds. When a truck weighs more than the limit, the weight of the load may become too heavy to manage. Drivers who drive trucks that are too heavy risk losing control of their vehicles and causing accidents.
Improperly Loaded Cargo: Even if a truck’s cargo is under the weight limit, it must be packed correctly. If not, it can cause falling and shifting cargo. If the trailer bed isn’t enclosed, the cargo can fall onto the road and cause accidents. If it is enclosed, it can move about inside and cause the truck to be unbalanced and further at risk for an accident. In the same way, tanker trucks can cause accidents if they have tanks that aren’t full, and the fluid can freely move around in the tank.
Weather: Even though Florida doesn’t generally see ice and snow, rain, fog, extreme winds, and other weather conditions can play their part in causing any type of car or truck accident. Truck drivers need to be adequately trained on how to navigate their trucks in fog or other inclement weather. They also need to slow down.
Drowsy Driving: Truck drivers have a grueling job that is all about meeting deadlines and getting loads delivered as fast as possible. Despite federal regulations that limit how much time truckers can drive without taking a break or how long of a break they must take to be able to drive, truckers often drive more than they should. They want to meet or exceed deadlines. This leads to fatigued or drowsy driving, which is extremely dangerous for a driver behind the wheel of such a gigantic motor vehicle.
When you hire an experienced Palm Beach County truck accident lawyer, they will investigate your accident to determine what caused it and, therefore, who is liable.
Who’s to Blame for Your Truck Accident?
Being in a truck accident can come with insurmountable medical bills and physical and emotional challenges. When you didn’t bring your injuries upon yourself, you shouldn’t be the one paying for them. It’s the at-fault party’s job to make you whole again as much as they possibly can after an accident. While they, of course, can’t rewind the clock and make it as if your accident never occurred, having the money to pay for medical bills and other necessary experiences can help alleviate your burdens. The key is to identify the correct at-fault party.
This can be tricky in some truck accident cases as many parties could be liable for your injuries. Sometimes more than one party can share liability.
Potentially liable parties in your truck accident include:
- The truck driver
- The driver’s employer
- The truck owner
- The cargo loader
- The truck maintenance provider
- A parts manufacturer
- A third party—such as another driver or a government entity responsible for road or sign maintenance
To receive the compensation you deserve, you need to be able to prove who is liable for your injuries and how. This can be a challenging task for someone who is recovering from significant injuries and wondering how they will make ends meet. It’s essential to work with a well-versed Palm Beach County truck accident attorney to help pinpoint who should be held liable under the circumstances of your accident.
Recent Truck Accidents on I-95
Truck accidents happen several times a week all along Interstate 95, and Florida is no stranger to them. Many cause severe or even catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Recent truck accidents on I-95 include:
September 12, 2021—A collision involving a semi-truck and at least four additional vehicles resulted in the shutdown of all lanes of Interstate 95 North near Commercial Boulevard. The semi-truck caused an oil leak, and multiple parties suffered minor injuries.
August 25, 2021—The driver of a semi-truck heading southbound on I-95 in Jacksonville lost control of the vehicle, hitting a metal guardrail. The truck began to overturn, causing one of the vehicles on the trailer to become untethered. It fell into the northbound lanes and struck another semi. Six out of nine vehicles that were on the first truck became untethered and then also fell into the northbound lanes. Injuries and fatalities were unknown.
March 30, 2021—A tanker truck filled with liquid hazardous materials overturned on the northbound lanes of I-95 just after Cypress Creek Road. No information was provided on injuries or deaths.
Fall 2020—A blown tire from a semi-truck caused a chain reaction involving three vehicles and six injured people. After the tire blew, the driver lost control, crossed the median, collided with a passenger vehicle, and impacted a pickup truck. The jaws of life were necessary to free some passengers from the wreckage. Some were life-flighted to nearby hospitals in Brevard County.
Were You Injured in a Truck Accident? Contact a Palm Beach County Truck Accident Lawyer Today at the Iscoe Law Firm
At the Iscoe Law Firm, we have the resources and tools to investigate your semi-truck accident while you rest and recover from your injuries. Our Palm Beach County truck accident lawyers have successfully managed many different types of trucking accidents. You can count on us to obtain the best possible outcome in your case as well. Contact us at 800-800-6500 or online today to schedule your no-obligation case consultation with a Palm Beach County truck accident attorney. We know that truck accidents happen day and night. As such, we are available to you 24/7, 365 days a year.