Motorists in Florida will always be vulnerable when they share the highways with big rigs. In most crashes that involve passenger vehicles and large trucks, the motorists are typically the ones who suffer severe or fatal injuries. The main reason is that big rigs weigh between 20 and 30 times as much as the passenger vehicles. Furthermore, their ground clearance is more significant, which increases the risk of smaller cars sliding beneath large trucks — often with tragic consequences.
Driver fatigue is another known crash risk for truckers, even though they may not exceed federal regulations that limit their hours behind the wheel. In many cases, truckers’ own financial needs or their employers chasing profits make them exceed regulated hours. Furthermore, large trucks’ braking capabilities require more stopping distances than cars, and that, along with the massive weights of their cargo, make large trucks deadly weapons.
Reportedly, more than 4,000 people lost their lives in accidents involving large trucks in 2018. In those accidents, only 16% of the fatalities were occupants of trucks. Two-thirds were passenger car occupants, and the rest were motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists.
These numbers underscore the dangers posed by large trucks. Surviving family members of anyone killed in a car vs. truck accident might have grounds for a wrongful death claim through the Florida civil justice system. This is a complicated field of the law, and typically best navigated by an attorney with extensive experience. A successfully presented lawsuit might lead to a monetary judgment to cover end-of-life expenses and other documented claims.