Truck Exit Ramp Rollover Accident Results in Fatality

Semi-truck rollover accident

A recent semi-truck rollover accident near Sarasota resulted in the death of the driver.

The tractor-trailer failed to negotiate the left turn off of the exit ramp in the early morning accident. The Florida Highway Patrol has reported that the driver was not wearing a seat belt.

Truck rollover accidents are becoming increasingly common and account for almost 10% of all truck accidents, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). A FMCSA study finds that rollovers are the deadliest type of truck crashes and that they occur frequently on highway inclines and ramps.

Although there were no other vehicles involved in the Sarasota accident, a truck rollover can injure or kill nearby innocent victims whose cars are impacted when the truck rolls over or onto them.

Causes of Truck Rollovers

To understand how a truck rollover occurs, visualize a truck traveling along a curved path such as a highway exit ramp or when the truck is making a turn. When on a curved path, centrifugal force will cause the truck to lean away from the direction of the curve. Tractor-trailers are especially prone to leaning because the loads are often unstable and because the trailer has a high center of gravity.

According to a FMCSA study, these are the top causes of fatal truck rollover crashes:

  • Driving too fast. The driver does not properly adjust his speed - in other words, slow down - to account for curves, road surface, intersections as well as the load carried. Speed is a contributing factor in 45% of rollover crashes.
  • Driver inattention. Driver distraction, falling asleep or just not paying attention can lead to a sudden direction change and ensuing rollover.
  • Steering performance. The driver over-corrects or counter-steers to stay in lane or to remain on the road.
  • Load variables or shifting. The driver is unaware of or doesn't account for the truck's load and its height, weight or security.
Can Truck Rollover Accidents Be Prevented?

Because these causes are primarily due to driver error, they are largely preventable.

The FMCSA recommends moving away from the printed materials that are currently used in most truck driver training courses and instead using video instruction. Video is a better medium to help drivers recognize a developing rollover scenario. In addition, training simulations would allow the driver to experience the outcomes of driver mistakes in a risk-free environment.

Truck drivers must be trained to follow the laws - including those requiring seatbelt use - and managed so they do not exceed driver hour limits.

We Can Help If You Have Been Injured in a Truck Accident

If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident with a truck or any other type of vehicle accident, or any type of personal injury, please contact the Law Offices of Diana Santa Maria, P.A. immediately. Our experienced attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorneys Diana Santa Maria and Laura D. Dolin, personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at (954) 434-1077 or contact us via the website.