18-Wheeler Accident in Pembroke Pines: Understanding the Legal and Safety Implications

Overview of the Incident

On June 11, 2024, a severe accident occurred in Pembroke Pines involving an 18-wheeler performing an illegal U-turn. The tractor-trailer collided with a car, resulting in the car being wedged under the trailer. Three people were transported to Memorial Regional Hospital. This incident highlights the dangers of improper maneuvering by large trucks on busy roadways.

Car being wedged under the trailer - (Source: WPLG)


Florida Statute on Illegal U-Turns

According to Florida Statute 316.1515, drivers are prohibited from making U-turns unless it can be done safely without interfering with other traffic. Violating this statute is considered a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation. This regulation aims to prevent accidents like the one in Pembroke Pines by ensuring that U-turns are only performed under safe conditions.

The Dangers of Illegal U-Turns by Large Trucks

Large trucks, such as 18-wheelers, pose significant risks when performing U-turns, especially on busy roads. Due to their size and length, these trucks cannot clear the roadway quickly enough to avoid collisions with oncoming traffic. The lack of side underride guards further exacerbates the danger, as these safety devices could prevent smaller vehicles from getting trapped underneath the trailer during an accident.

Expert Opinion

Sam Coffey, an attorney at Coffey McPharlin, commented on the incident: “Some people would look at this accident and blame the driver of the car that drove under the 18-wheeler trailer, but the accident is probably not entirely their fault.  An uncontrolled U-turn [a U-turn without a flagger on the roadway, stopping traffic] is one of the most dangerous maneuvers a tractor-trailer driver can perform and leads to serious injury and deaths on our roadways all too often. This is because a tractor-trailer cannot clear the roadway in the opposite direction before a vehicle coming down the roadway is able to approach at normal highway speed leaving no place for the car to avoid an accident. 18-wheeler trailers generally are not equipped with side under-ride safety devices that would stop the approaching car before it underrides the trailer even though they are widely available In the industry and would save lives. The rear of every trailer is equipped with under-ride bars that save lives, but not all trailers are equipped with the same technology to address this common problem. This accident is a combination of truck driver, gross negligence, and product defect for failing to equip the trailer with side underside guards. The at-fault parties should be held accountable.”

How Coffey McPharlin Can Assist

At Coffey McPharlin, we specialize in handling cases involving trucking accidents. Our team of experienced attorneys is dedicated to ensuring that victims receive the compensation they deserve. We provide comprehensive legal support, from investigating the accident to negotiating with insurance companies and representing clients in court if necessary.

Seeking Justice After a Truck Accident: The Importance of Legal Assistance

The tragic accident in Pembroke Pines underscores the importance of adhering to traffic safety regulations and the need for improved safety measures for large trucks. If you or a loved one has been involved in a similar accident, it’s crucial to seek legal assistance to navigate the complexities of your case and ensure justice is served.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Coffey McPharlin today at (954) 289-6316.