Florida Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog
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Tire blowouts in Homestead and Florida are extremely frightening, both for the truck driver and for nearby motorists. These events are completely unexpected in most cases and can cause devastating accidents. In a tire blowout, a truck driver may lose control of their vehicle and may even be involved in a rollover accident or single vehicle truck collision. More often, however, when a truck driver tries to rein in their truck, other vehicles around the tractor trailer may have to swerve out of the way of the truck. This can cause secondary or chain reaction collisions. In addition, the tire blowout can cause debris to fall from the truck or can cause debris from the tires to smash up against the windshield of oncoming cars, which can also cause traffic accidents.

One of the big dangers with tire blowouts is that it can be difficult to control a large truck in the seconds immediately following a blowout. The truck may veer strongly or a truck driver may panic and forget the proper procedures for handling the truck after a tire blowout. In situations where the tire blowout occurs in heavy traffic or on a high-speed highway, the results can be even more devastating. Surrounding cars, pedestrians, and other shares of the road may all become part of the train reaction accident that leads to devastating loss of life and injury.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program is sponsoring a $1.4 million study being conducted at the University of Arizona to find ways to reduce emergency responder injuries and fatalities. It is hoped that the findings will help find ways to reduce traffic accident collisions involving emergency vehicles.

These types of accidents are far too common. In fact, the second leading cause of death among fire fighters across the country is emergency vehicle accidents. Since 1994, emergency vehicle collisions have resulted in over 1000 injuries annually and more than 390 fatalities. While passenger car fatalities have dropped in the past ten years, fatalities in emergency vehicle crashes have not.

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According to safety experts, to really prevent tractor trailer accidents in Florida and Coral Gables, there needs to be a huge shift in attitude and everyone needs to take responsibility for preventing collisions. Everyone has a role to play:

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At the recent National Truck Driving Championships sponsored by the American Trucking Associations, truck drivers were recognized for their skills and their dedication to the job. The truckers were also asked about their ideas for improving trucking safety and preventing trucking accidents. According to the winners, the best way to make our roads safer is to:

1) Encourage drivers to take the intuitive for safety.

One thing that sets the winners of the National Truck Driving Championships apart is that they enjoy learning and expanding their skills. When speaking to the media, some of the winners said that taking part in the championships expanded their skills and made them feel like part of the industry. When drivers are enthusiastic about their skills and see themselves as part of a team, some of the problems that plague the industry – such as driver shortages and high turnovers – may be less of a problem.

2) Improve working conditions for drivers.

Safety experts have already stated that one way to cut down on trucking crashes in Miami and other cities is to improve working conditions in the industry. Better pay and better hours could go a long way towards preventing fatigued driving in Miami and other communities by allowing drivers the lifestyle needed to rest and stay healthy on the road. The winners of the National Truck Driving Championships noted that their truck carriers helped them get more family time at home, something that they appreciated. Some safety advocates have noted that raising wages and not linking wages to tight deadlines would reduce the chances that drivers cut corners to make deliveries on time – at any cost.

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Two serious trucking incidents occurred in Pembroke Pines this month. In the first incident, a large sinkhole opened up on Pines Boulevard, swallowing a large truck. The sinkhole opened up when a water main broke.

In another incident, a waste truck caught fire on the Interstate 75 in Pembroke Pines. Although the flames were quickly controlled, lanes on the highway were closed while fire fighters responded to the accident. The fire began when the truck – carrying petroleum-based roofing materials – caught fire. The incident highlights some of the dangers of hazardous cargo. Fire fighters noted that some types of petroleum-based roofing materials can spontaneously combust, especially in hot weather.

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On the surface, car and truck accidents in Davie and other Florida communities look very much alike. They both involve drivers and insurance companies and both take place on the roadways. In both cases, there are likely to be injuries or even fatalities. Even the laws are similar, in that if a driver was negligent they can be held liable under Florida law.

Despite these similarities, truck and car accidents in Davie differ in a few significant ways:

1) Truck accident injuries are far more likely to be severe.

A broadside collision between two passenger vehicles can be serious, but when one of the vehicles involved is a commercial truck the accident is even more likely to lead to devastating injury or fatalities. More severe injuries can mean more compensation required to pay for medical bills. Unfortunately, it can also mean that some insurance companies are more likely to balk at the cost.

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Trucking accidents in Hollywood and other Florida communities are often devastating and will sometimes make the news when the collision is severe enough. When celebrities are involved, however, news agencies become even more involved and this can sometimes mean important safety changes as well as emphasis on safety issues.

For example, in 1967, actress Jayne Mansfield rear-ended a commercial truck. Mansfield and the other adults in the car were killed instantly when the vehicle slid under the truck. The serious accident called attention to the dangers of the underride accidents and in part due to the tragedy underride bars were eventually developed and are now widely used on commercial trucks to prevent similar deaths in rear-end collisions in Hollywood and other communities. The steel bars that are placed across the rear end of commercial trucks are known as underride guards or sometimes as Mansfield bars. At one point, the bars were required on all commercial trucks, although rules have now been changes so that many trucks are exempt from needing the underride bars.

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Are medical costs for traffic accident patients too high? After a serious car or truck accident in Homestead or any other community, survivors of the crash typically need emergency medical treatment. Many need long-term care, surgery, and other medical procedures. For some time now, personal injury attorneys in Homestead as well as survivors of motor vehicle crashes have been expressing concerns about the rising costs associated with medical care.

Lawsuit Alleges Higher Costs Under PIP

A recent lawsuit filed in Hillsborough County, Florida highlights the problem. The lawsuit is against the largest hospital chain in the state, HCA, and against West Palm Beach’s JFK Medical Center. Two patients injured in separate car accidents in 2013 allege in the claim that they were treated more for services at the hospital when compared with other patients.

One woman who was rushed to JFK Medical Center after being in a car accident needed four medical services, including two X-rays and two CT scans. According to the lawsuit, she would have been charged $466 for these services if she had been covered by Medicare. Instead, the hospital charged her $17,885.

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On August 27, a serious trucking collision on Interstate 75 in Florida’s Sarasota County caused a gasoline spill of 250 and 500 gallons. Both the truck driver and another driver were injured in the crash and the accident caused a secondary four-car collision as well. Firefighters placed foam over the gasoline to keep it from catching fire.

Fuel spill accidents such as these can quickly become deadly and are a serious concern when tankers carrying gasoline and other flammable materials are involved in a crash. The resulting collisions can cause:

1) Environmental and health damage.

Trucking accidents in Miami and other cities can cause serious health and environmental concerns when fuel spills are involved. The fuel can leak into underground water supplies or can cause health damage to nearby residents who may be breathing in the fumes. Those who are already ill may be even more vulnerable to the damage.

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There are many things that contribute to trucking accidents in Hollywood and other communities. Driver error, mechanical failure, and poor road design, for example, all contribute to their fair share of traffic crashes each year. However, one factor that causes many collisions is often overlooked: driver health.

The reality is that chronic health conditions can have a big impact on how safely truck drivers can handle their jobs. In addition, the very job itself can have a negative impact on health. The sedentary nature of the job, the stress of the job, and the fast food that is often available on the road can put drivers at risk for obesity, diabetes, cardiac issues, and other serious health concerns.

How Serious is the Problem?

Studies point out that truck drivers may have a higher risk for some health conditions. A study published the American Journal of Industrial Medicine concluded that 68.9 percent of truck drivers studies were obese and 17.4 percent were morbidly obese. In comparison, the general population has an obesity rate of 30.5 percent, with 7.3 of the country being morbidly obese. The same study found that truck drivers are twice as likely to be smokers when compared with the rest of the population and are more than twice as likely to suffer from diabetes. According to the study, truck drivers have a higher risk of psychiatric illness, back pain, and musculoskeletal problems. They are also more likely to get delayed treatment or lack access to treatment.

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