As a port city, Fort Lauderdale sees many trucks throughout the area. While big trucks offer substantial advantages for transporting goods out of the city, large trucks also increase the risk of accidents, including truck T-bone accidents. Our team of experienced truck accident lawyers
10 Common Causes of T-Bone Accidents in Fort Lauderdale
Big trucks need more room on the road. Since Fort Lauderdale sees a great deal of truck traffic due to its coastal location, most drivers are accustomed to sharing the road with trucks and taking steps to interact with them safely. However, trucks pose unanticipated risks. When a truck comes through an intersection too quickly, other drivers may not have time to respond, increasing the risk of a T-bone accident.
1. Truck driver distraction
Truck drivers need to keep their full attention on the road. Unfortunately, Fort Lauderdale truck drivers have many distractions pulling their attention away from the road. A truck driver who chooses to eat or drink behind the wheel to make up time cannot keep their full attention on the road, especially if something spills.
Truck drivers in Fort Lauderdale, especially those unfamiliar with the area, may also need to check GPS devices to figure out the correct route. These interactions can easily go awry. A distracted truck driver may look down as they approach an intersection, causing them to stop too late before plowing through the intersection, resulting in a T-bone collision.
2. Cars trying to outrun trucks as they get close to an intersection
Fort Lauderdale drivers dislike sharing the road with big trucks. Big trucks take up a great deal of space, can prove difficult to see around, and, in some cases, may slow down traffic. As drivers approach an intersection, they may try to rush through it even if the truck has the right of way. Rushing through the intersection may prevent the driver from waiting for the truck to progress through it. Unfortunately, it can also raise the risk of a T-bone collision, especially if the truck has already started rolling through the intersection.
3. Truck Driver’s Lack of experience.
An ongoing truck driver shortage continues to have severe implications for many industries. Trucking companies have a hard time getting the drivers they need to meet the high delivery demand across Florida and the United States. Many trucking companies hire truck drivers with less experience, who may have a greater risk of accidents.
Inexperienced truck drivers may not realize how much room the truck needs to get through an intersection safely or how much time it takes the truck to come to a complete stop, especially in dangerous weather conditions. Furthermore, unqualified truck drivers may not have the reflexes to respond quickly if someone else pulls through the intersection in front of them, raising the risk of a T-bone accident.
4. Dangerous weather conditions
Big trucks need more room to stop in all conditions. In dangerous weather, big trucks need even more time to stop completely. Truck drivers often lack sufficient room to maneuver safely.
While big trucks may prove less likely to hydroplane in the heavy storms that often strike Fort Lauderdale, they still need more time to come to a safe stop, which can cause a truck to plunge into an intersection unpredictably. Unfortunately, these same dangerous weather conditions make it difficult for other drivers to get out of the way in time to avoid a T-bone accident.
5. Brake failure
Big trucks need strong brakes to bring the vehicle to a safe stop at an intersection. Unfortunately, trucking companies do not always maintain their trucks, leading to unexpected and unpredictable brake failures. A brake failure may mean that the truck driver has no means of stopping the vehicle, causing it to plunge into an intersection before other drivers can get out of the way. Other drivers may not realize that the truck cannot stop, especially if the truck driver does not notice the brake failure in time to signal or turn on hazard lights.
6. Dangerous intersections
Fort Lauderdale contains many dangerous intersections, including Oakland Park Boulevard and Powerline Road, Sunrise Boulevard and Northwest 31st Street, and State Road 7 and Oakland Park Boulevard.
Several conditions can increase the risk associated with driving through an intersection, including:
- Confusing traffic signals
- Poor visibility
- Heavy traffic
Many of Fort Lauderdale's intersections are particularly dangerous for big trucks. Big truck drivers need more room to see around them, especially in intersections that see heavy pedestrian or bicycle traffic. In a dangerous intersection, drivers may have difficulty seeing other vehicles around them, raising the risk of a T-bone accident.
7. Blind spot challenges
Big trucks have large blind spots that can lead to substantial challenges for many truck drivers. While T-bone accidents with big trucks usually involve a direct collision with the front of the truck, sometimes, they happen due to lack of visibility. First, big trucks have large blind spots at the front and sides of the vehicle. Second, big trucks often make wide turns, particularly right turns. While these wide turns provide better overall visibility, the big truck driver may not have adequate visibility to avoid a T-bone collision in the intersection.
8. Driver inebriation
While truck drivers know that they need to remain sober to stay safe on the road, some truck drivers will nevertheless drink and drive.
Many truck drivers suffer from drinking problems, even if they do not typically drink while they drive, due to the long hours on the road and loneliness that often comes from missing home. Drunk driving truck drivers have less control of their vehicles and a higher risk of causing a truck accident due to tunnel vision, slowed responses, or poor decision-making.
Traveling at a higher rate of speed than the posted speed limit poses a hazard for any driver, but it is even more dangerous for a truck driver. A speeding truck driver may lack adequate time to stop as they reach an intersection, even if they spot a vehicle at the last minute. Speeding can prove particularly dangerous in tight traffic areas or at intersections with poor visibility. Speeding also increases the severity of a T-bone collision since a speeding truck often has more force behind it.
10. Drowsy driving
Truck drivers often have long shifts behind the wheel, with relatively few breaks. They may not get sufficient sleep, since many sleep in their trucks or uncomfortable hotel rooms. Drowsy driving is too common, especially early in the morning or late at night.
Drowsy truck drivers may struggle with some of the same symptoms as drunk drivers, including slowed reflexes and difficulty controlling the vehicle safely. Furthermore, drowsy truck drivers may fall asleep behind the wheel, causing them to drive through an intersection before they wake.
4 Steps After a T-Bone Accident With a Big Truck in Fort Lauderdale
If you suffer a T-bone collision with a big truck in Fort Lauderdale, you need to act quickly and carefully to protect yourself and your passengers. Big truck accidents often involve substantial injuries due to the larger size of the big truck and the greater force of the accident. The average passenger vehicle may offer little protection from a T-bone collision with a big truck, especially for occupants on the side of the vehicle hit by the truck.
1. Evaluate everyone for injuries first.
Before you get out of your vehicle or try to collect information, make sure you evaluate everyone in the vehicle for injuries. In some cases, injured parties may need to stay put until help arrives since moving around could worsen the injuries. Take care of any emergency first aid needs immediately.
2. Call 911 to report the accident.
The Fort Lauderdale police will respond to the accident scene as soon as possible. Calling 911 will also summon emergency medical help, which can prove vital to people who sustain severe injuries in the accident.
When the police arrive, answer their questions honestly and clearly so that you can give them a complete picture of what happened. Do not embellish your account, particularly if you did not see what led to it.
3. Get medical care.
Fort Lauderdale has many hospitals and medical care centers, including Holy Cross Health and Kindred Hospital South Florida. Seek medical attention immediately after your T-bone accident. Passengers may have severe injuries that you initially overlooked.
The sooner you get medical care, the sooner you can start recovering from your injuries, including brain injuries and broken bones. Having a doctor evaluate you provides you with a clear record of when your injuries took place, making it easier for you to establish your right to compensation after a T-bone truck collision.
4. Talk to a lawyer about your Fort Lauderdale T-bone truck collision.
Any time you suffer injuries in a T-bone collision with a truck, work with a lawyer to help manage your truck accident claim. Truck accidents often involve a more in-depth investigation than the average accident claim, particularly since liability for a T-bone truck accident may not rest with the truck driver alone.
In many cases, the truck driver’s company shares liability for the accident, including cases where dangerous company policies push a truck driver to exceed their legal driving limit. A truck accident lawyer can investigate the accident details, give you more information about your right to compensation, and help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you suffered injuries in a T-bone collision with a big truck, a Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorney can help. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to learn more about your right to compensation.