Articles Posted in Truck Accident

Hernando County Fire Rescue responded to a traffic crash on Interstate 75 early Saturday morning involving two vehicles.

Officials believe a semi-tractor trailer jackknifed and blocked several lanes of I-75. The northbound lanes of the interstate were closed for several hours.

The crash occurred around 1:20 a.m. on I-75 at mile marker 297. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage, according to reports.

The crash caused a fuel tank on the semi-truck was ruptured and leaked around 60 gallons of diesel fuel onto the roadway.

HazMat crews were able to contain the spill which spread nearly ½ mile in a storm drain.

Both drivers received minor injuries and were transported to local hospitals.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

Semi trucks present a serious danger to drivers mostly because they are the largest vehicles on the road. Their sheer size, length, and weight usually mean that a collision will result in serious injuries.

Drivers must use extra caution when driving around semi-trucks. Semi trucks have a tendency to take wide turns and can easily tip over or jackknife. Semi drivers can lose control in an instant of a vehicle weighing tens of thousands of pounds.

After a truck accident, injury victims can suffer both physical and financial hardship. While no one can undo the damage caused by a serious accident, our Hernando County Truck Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can fight for compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by the truck collision. If you have lost a loved one, we can fight to recover funeral expenses in the event of a wrongful death.

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One person was killed Tuesday morning in a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 75.

The crash happened at 6:15 a.m. when a box truck crashed into the back of a semi-truck near Mile Marker 302 in Ridge Manor, according to Hernando County Fire Rescue.

The driver of the box truck was killed. The driver of the semi was not harmed.

The northbound lanes of I-75 were temporarily shut down, until one lane could safely be opened to allow the heavily backed up traffic to proceed slowly past the accident scene.

The accident is still under investigation.

One out of every 8 fatal accident on highways across the country involve a semi-truck. This statistic alone serves as a reminder that trucking accidents are a huge problem and that trucking companies should be held accountable for the negligence of their drivers.

  • In 2013, there were more than 327,000 accidents involving semi trucks.
  • Of those, 3,906, of these accidents were fatal.
  • 63 percent of fatal accidents involved two or more vehicles.
  • 25 percent of these fatal crashes occurred on interstate highways.
  • 66 percent of all deadly accidents took place during the daytime.

Our Hernando County Truck Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you or your loved ones who have been involved in these types of collisions. We are able to properly survey a truck accident scene and re-create the collision by working closely with reconstruction specialists. We can look for crucial pieces of evidence that can assist with your claim, including:

  • How many hours the trucker was supposed to drive before they were required to pull over for rest.
  • Whether or not their truck exceeded weight restrictions.
  • Verifying if the trucker kept proper travel logs required by law.
  • Ensuring appropriate licenses were issued to operate the semi-truck.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently issued a press release regarding their proposed rulemaking on improved rear impact protection for trailers and semitrailers. Their plans include to upgrade the Federal motor vehicle safety standards that address underride protection for light-vehicles in crashes to the rear of trailers and semitrailers. The recent proposed rule could have a huge impact and actually improve trailer and semitrailer crash safety by enhancing underride protection and visibility of single unit trucks.

What is an underride truck accident? These occur when a car, usually a passenger occupant vehicle, hits the rear of a large truck and slides underneath it. Commercial trucks are much taller than passenger occupant vehicles, so underride accidents are more common that you may think. If a car gets trapped under a semi truck, the passenger compartment can become compromised, which in turn places the lives of those inside at an increased risk for catastrophic injuries or death.

As it is now, most large trucks have rear impact guards in place to help prevent underride crashes, but the proposed rule will require semis to be equipped with more robust guards. These new impact guards are anticipated to significantly reduce the risk of death or injury to passenger occupants involved in crashes with tractor trailers.

Semi trucks, tractor trailers and other commercial trucks are much larger and heavier than smaller passenger vehicles like cars, minivans, SUVs and light trucks. For drivers and passengers in these smaller cars, a crash involving a large truck can have devastating results. Underride accidents are especially dangerous for occupants in smaller cars and trucks.

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At least 40 million Americans are estimated to travel this Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The majority of those will be on the roads, travelling to and from their destinations.

Due to the vast number of people anticipated to be driving on the roads this Thanksgiving weekend, the potential for car accidents is quite high. During the first half of this year, an estimated 15,470 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. That number is expected to increase during the second half of the year with such high rates of end-of-the-year holiday travel.

Do not let a car accident ruin your Thanksgiving holiday. Here are a few holiday travel safety tips to help ensure the safety of you and your family:

  • Check the fluid levels on your vehicle, the battery and fill up with gas before heading out of town. Proper car maintenance and a full tank of gas can go a long way to make sure that you are not stranded during your travels.
  • Have a backup plan. Equip yourself with emergency supplies in case of an accident, breakdown or medical emergency. You should include a flashlight, blanket, first-aid kit, tools and bottled water in your emergency kit. Numerous accidents occur when drivers become stranded on the side of the highway. If your vehicle breaks down or you are in an accident, remember to keep yourself safe. If it is possible, pull the car completely onto the shoulder or off of the road. Anyone inside the vehicle should exit the vehicle on the side opposite oncoming traffic and wait for help as far back from the road as possible. Turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.
  • Abide by “Move Over” laws. Keep your eyes out for other drivers who may be stranded. If you see a vehicle on the side of the road, slow down and get over.
  • Never drive distracted. Drinking and driving, as well as texting while driving are leading causes of accidents across the country. Did you know that drivers who text while driving are four times more likely to be in a car accident? Don’t become a statistic – keep your focus on the road.

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A 33-year-old Wesley Chapel man was killed early Friday in a head-on crash with an 18-wheeler in Hernando County.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the Wesley Chapel man was killed when his 2006 Honda Civic collided head-on with a semi truck just after midnight on State Road 50 near Ridge Manor.  

Troopers believe the man was traveling west on State Road 50 just west of Richloam Clay Sink Road when his Honda drifted into the eastbound lane and collided with a semi-truck.

The Wesley Chapel man died at the scene.

The driver of the semi, a 50-year-old man, suffered serious injuries and was transported to Dade City Hospital.

The crash is currently under investigation.

A head-on collision with a negligent semi truck driver usually involves one or more of the following:

  • Driver fatigue.
  • Speeding or driving too fast for the conditions.
  • Distraction, such as talking on a cell phone, texting, eating, looking for something, talking to a passenger, etc.

Commercial truck drivers have more laws to follow than drivers regular passenger vehicles due to the fact that there are state and federal regulations that govern commercial transportation. These regulations have specific requirements regarding the hours a semi driver can drive, the weight of the load, the size of the vehicle and many other aspects of commercial transportation.

If you are the family member of a loved one who died in a semi-truck accident, you know exactly how your family’s life can change in an instant. At Whittel & Melton, our Hernando County Truck Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help your family cope with the  legal and financial issues involved in a fatal tractor trailer accident.

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Five people were killed, and two others were seriously harmed in a crash in Hernando County Monday morning.

The accident occurred around 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of Citrus Way and Ponce De Leon Boulevard in Brooksville.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a box truck traveling southbound on Citrus Way failed to stop at the intersection of SR-700 and collided with a 2006 Chevrolet pickup towing a utility trailer traveling westbound on SR-700.

9493044529_9600744d02_zThe Chevy pickup caught fire as a result of the impact.

Five people in the pickup died.

Two people in the box truck were seriously injured. Both were airlifted to area hospitals.

According to troopers, it appears the victims in the pickup truck worked for a company in Polk County.

Everyday in Hernando County, box trucks, also known as delivery trucks, share the roadways with smaller passenger vehicles. Many major corporations including Fedex, UPS, Staples and others rely on these vehicles to help carry out their basic operations. In many cases, these delivery truck drivers are under strict deadlines, which can result in negligent driving errors. In other scenarios, companies may fail to perform the required maintenance checks for their fleet of delivery trucks, which can lead to equipment failure resulting in an accident.

Immediately following a delivery truck accident, a thorough investigation is required to determine the cause of the accident and determine who is responsible.

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A 29-year-old woman was killed an early morning crash involving a semi Monday in Spring Hill.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the woman was driving a 2014 Jeep Patriot SUV southbound on U.S. 19 approaching Toucan Trail just before 1 a.m.

Troopers believe that a semi traveling east on Toucan Trail turned south onto U.S. 19. The woman’s vehicle was not able to stop in time and crashed into the back of the semi trailer.

The woman died at the scene.

The driver of the semi, a 31-year-old man, was not injured.

18631509849_719fdc71a5_zOne of the scariest experiences that any automobile driver can experience is an auto accident with a truck, tractor trailer, 18 wheeler or semi truck. A vast number of these collisions result in the driver of the car being severely injured or killed. The sad truth is that these types of accidents are common occurrences through Hernando County roadways and interstates.

After a truck vs. car accident, the company for the truck, tractor trailer, 18 wheeler or semi truck and their insurance company will act fast and conduct an investigation immediately. The trucking company and insurance company will try to limit the recovery of the injury or wrongful death victim to the lowest possible amount. These companies have very specific and intricate procedures on handling these types of accident claims, especially in the early stages. Because of this, it is important for victims or victims’ family members to seek legal help as soon as possible in order to protect their rights.

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Spring break is finally here! Families, college students and teenagers are packing their bags and heading out in search of fun, and usually sun, at their final destination. While planning what to do during your vacation is always top priority, it is equally important to plan what to do on your way there in the event an unexpected emergency arises.

There are many things you can do to lessen your chances of becoming a victim of a spring break auto accident, so consider the following safety tips before you head out of town:

  • 2339488040_f1a38bd513_zBefore you head out on your trip, get your car checked out by a mechanic. You need to make sure your vehicle is in proper working order before you drive any distance.
  • Plan your route. Make sure you pencil in time for breaks, rest stops and overnight stays, if needed. Keep in mind that while it is excellent to have a plan, should you need to add in an extra pit stop or two, that is perfectly OK. You do not want to push yourself to drive additional distances if you are too tired. Listen to your body, and take a rest when need be.
  • Rotate Drivers. Let one of your travel companions take the wheel when you need a break.
  • Call for help if you experience car trouble. It can be scary when something goes wrong with your vehicle in a foreign place. Stay in your car while you wait for help to arrive.
  • Do not drink and drive, or allow anyone else in the car to drink. It is illegal in many places for other passengers to drink in a vehicle, so do not chance it. With that said, if you have consumed any amount of alcohol, do not drive yourself and your buddies anywhere. Instead, opt for a cab or alternate transportation.

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We all know that texting while driving is quite dangerous, but taking pictures while behind the wheel, commonly referred to as a “selfie,” can be equally as risky, if not more.

Instagram proves that drivers are snapping these photos, which can be viewed under the hashtags: #carselfie, #drivingselfie and the cringe-worthy, #ihopeidontcrash. Although it is not entirely clear whether the person taking the “selfie” has their car in motion, the possibility that they might is still very scary.

Car “selfies” are just a new category to add to the ever-growing list of ways drivers can become distracted on the road. According to the Department of Transportation, it is estimated that more than 3,330 deaths are caused by distracted drivers every year. Cell phone usage alone by drivers lead to 385 fatal crashes in 2011, according to the latest National Occupant Protection Use Survey.

9182166213_de1ffb215e_zEven though smart phones and their technology can be fun and exciting, drivers must avoid these dangers while driving. These days everyone is glued to their electronic devices, whether for work or pleasure, but when driving, the focus needs to remain on the road. Taking a picture while driving will not only distract you, but it can obstruct your vision of the road ahead as well.

Motorists who take their eyes off the road for just two seconds to take a pic can travel about 176 feet at 60 mph, according to the American Automobile Association. So, if a driver decides to record a six second video while maintaining a speed of 60mph, they will travel 528 feet. That is equivalent to one and one-half football fields.

Do not be tempted – never take a “selfie” or “selfie video” while driving. Deciding to put your phone away while on the road can be the difference between causing an accident and arriving to your final destination safely. It is important for drivers of all ages to remember this.

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Alcohol-related crashes in Hernando County were down last year, compared to the previous year, according to recent reports.

In 2014, there were 93 alcohol-related crashes, a decrease of 24 from 2013. The decrease in alcohol-related injury crashes was even more substantial: 37 from 68.

There were five fatal alcohol-related fatal crashes in 2014 and four in 2013. Alcohol-related pedestrian collisions dropped from 11 to nine.

Alcohol-related motorcycle crashes increased – from eight to nine.

In total, there were 59 less people injured or killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2014 compared to the previous year. That was a 28 percent decrease.

11064883376_6771bd6c4a_z (1)Hernando County drunk driving accidents are usually complex cases. The best thing you can do following a collision is to consult with a Hernando County Auto Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton. By involving us at the earliest stage of a motor vehicle accident, you can make sure the physical, emotional and financial well-being of you and your family is protected.

In many DUI accident cases, the at-fault drivers lack insurance or do not have adequate insurance to compensate victims for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. Insurance companies know the tremendous liability that results when one of their insured drivers is accused of causing a serious or fatal drunk driving accident. Insurance adjusters will often try to limit liability immediately. This may mean that they offer to settle your case for what they claim is the maximum amount available under the policy, when in reality the settlement being offered is extremely low and not all near what is fair.

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