Whether you’re traveling through Tallahassee, Pensacola, or anywhere else in the Florida Panhandle, the Interstate 10 (I-10) can be a tough road to share when it comes to semi-trucks. Between 2012 and 2014, there were numerous fatal semi-truck crashes on the I-10 in the Florida Panhandle. In fact, in April of this year, two semi-trucks were traveling on the I-10 eastbound when they crashed, with one semi-truck rear-ending the other. As a result, a truck was turned sideways and minor injuries were sustained.
Even worse is when the semi-truck collision is fatal and someone loses their life as a result of a negligent act. A 2014 semi-truck crash on the I-10 resulted in three deaths. Many more involved at least one death. In March 2016, construction began to help improve the interchange between the I-10 and Highway 29 in Escambia County, not far from where a fatal crash occurred in 2012. Unfortunately, these are only minor improvements to a long stretch of highway that saw at least 15 fatal semi-truck collisions in the three year stretch between 2012 and 2014. Countless more occurred resulting in serious injuries.
When a semi-truck is involved in a crash, one of the most important things one can do is figure out the cause of the collision. This can go a long way in helping to determine who can be held liable, and who is responsible for the compensation an injured person deserves. Unfortunately, there are numerous parties who may be held accountable, so it is best to hire a lawyer who knows how to help get the answers. For instance, did you know that there are certain regulations semi-truck drivers must abide by so that they can keep themselves and others safe on the road?
The Hours of Service regulations set forth are to keep drivers safe and well rested. These regulations set limits on how long a driver can operate the vehicle before requiring a break or to go off duty. There are also regulations regarding how much weight the semi-truck can haul. This is because sharp turns, traveling up or downhill can all be affected by the total weight of the truck and trailer. If there is too much weight, it can cause issues braking or result in a jackknife, in which the trailer portion of the truck skids and turns sideways.
Understanding the potential dangers can help keep you safe while traveling on I- 10 through the Florida Panhandle, especially when there are so many semi-trucks on the road. Make sure you are cautious if you notice a semi-truck swerving or the driver appears to be struggling while going downhill. Give the truck the proper distance while traveling uphill so you have the time necessary to make an evasive move and avoid a crash if the cargo is too heavy. Finally, always pay close attention to the semi-truck when it is making a sharp turn. Give the driver the room he or she needs to safely make his turn. Avoid being next to the semi, if possible. If the cargo is loaded unevenly, it can cause the trailer to tip over and roll onto its side. There are many experienced semi drivers who have safely driven countless miles but there are also semi drivers who do not demonstrate that same cautious driving behavior.
If you have been injured anywhere on the I-10 in the Florida Panhandle, call our firm. Our Panama City truck accident attorneys represent clients throughout Bay County and all over the Florida Panhandle. We know how devastating a semi-truck crash can be for anyone involved. You deserve the right to seek compensation for any injuries or damages sustained due to a negligent driver or trucking company. Call us today and learn how we can help you get through the process.