Florida Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog
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Distracted drivers in Hollywood and Florida cause all kinds of traffic collisions, including pedestrian accidents, truck crashes, and car collisions, to name just a few. When drivers are daydreaming or are focusing on mobile devices or a conversation rather than the road they may not notice another car or a pedestrian in time to avoid a crash.

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Big rigs and tractor trailers can be especially dangerous when driven by a distracted driver. These vehicles are larger and heavier, with a higher center of gravity. If a driver is distracted, 18 wheelers and commercial trucks can crush smaller cars in their way and can cause a multi-vehicle pileup. They can also rollover and cause catastrophic collisions.

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Truck drivers need to follow many federal rules. These rules are designed to help prevent trucking collisions and to keep you safe. For example, truck drivers are required by law to take rest breaks to ensure that they are not driving dangerously tired. They must also keep track of their rest stops, the visual inspections of their trucks, and their cargo. There are limits as to the amount of cargo they can carry and the amount of miles they can drive each day. Truck drivers also must pass health checkups, written tests, and practical exams to get their license.

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The problem with these regulations is that in order for them to work they must be enforced. When truck drivers or carriers ignore the rules, trucking collisions in Hollywood and Florida occur, injuring innocent people. Unfortunately, truck drivers and companies have financial incentives to break the rules. When trucks are overloaded with cargo or when truck drivers stay on the road longer than they are allowed to, the cost of the transport declines. Unfortunately, so does the safety of the delivery.

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Ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars save lives. When they are rushing by to get to an emergency, other motorists are required to get out of the way. When emergency vehicles with lights flashing are parked on the side of the road to assist others, drivers are expected to leave plenty of room and to slow down to prevent hitting emergency crews or their vehicles.

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Despite these rules, many truck accidents and broadside crashes  in Miami Beach and surrounding areas each year involve emergency vehicles. Some motorists refuse to yield to emergency trucks while in other instances the speed traveled by emergency vehicles causes a collision. There are ways to prevent these roadway collisions, fortunately:

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New trucking technology is always being developed in an effort to curb trucking collisions in Miami and other communities. Technology ranges from new roadway systems to new safety systems for trucks.

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Daimler Trucks North America has recently rolled out a new safety system called Detroit Assurance. Detroit Assurance uses Active Brake Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control to prevent crashes and save fuel. Radars allow a truck driver to maintain a safe following distance from any vehicle automatically, reducing the amount of decision-making needed and reducing the margin of error to prevent crashes.

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Truck drivers in Homestead and other communities rely on roads to get them safely to their destinations. When infrastructure is poorly designed or manufactured, road design issues could cause trucking accidents. Trucks can also put additional pressure on the roads due to their heavy cargo, so that when roads are built poorly trucks can cause quite a bit of damage.

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Engineers and city planners are always trying to develop infrastructure and roads that will provide a safe surface for drivers while also offering other benefits. Many experts in the industry are excited about the idea of smart roads, or roads that have embedded technology in order to help prevent accidents, enforce laws, and gather information. Some experts feel that smart roads and highways are the future in Homestead and the rest of Florida.

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Many people consider factors such as speeding, fatigued driving, and distraction as causes of truck accidents in Hollywood and Florida. While it’s true that these issues cause many truck accidents each year, experts say that something as seemingly innocuous as lack of parking spots can lead to trucker fatalities and collisions.

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When truck drivers need to stop on the road, they can do so at hotels or at truck stops. However, some drivers find themselves far from these types of accommodations. If they arrive early at a supplier’s property or delivery site, for example, they may find that parking areas are fenced off or inaccessible. This leads some truckers to stop in abandoned lots or in overcrowded rest stop areas, where collisions or problems can occur. Some truckers have found themselves robbed or attacked because they did not have a safe place to park. In other cases, truck drivers have found themselves in parking lot accidents due to lack of adequate parking.

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Truck drivers need to learn more than the average passenger car driver. There are federal rules that commercial drivers must obey and paperwork that must be completed by drivers. Since drivers also drive much heavier machinery and are responsible for some basic inspections and maintenance, they need to learn how to handle many types of tasks on the road. In addition, drivers need to learn a great deal about road safety so that they can avoid trucking collisions in Hollywood and other communities they visit.

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The challenge with truck training has traditionally been that road training can only show truck drivers so much. If a driver is training in Hollywood or anywhere in South Florida, for example, it is difficult to teach the driver how to handle driving in snow or on ice – even if a driver will eventually be driving all over North America and needs to know how to deal with winter weather. Some scenarios – such as near-misses – are also difficult to recreate safely.

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When truck drivers sustain on-the-job injuries in Hollywood or their communities, the results are often serious. In a trucking collision, drivers can sustain head injuries, fractures, soft tissue injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other serious trauma.

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Recovering from this type of serious injury takes time and effort. For some drivers, return to work becomes impossible. Others go through months of pain, rehabilitation, and treatment to reclaim their lives. During recovery, it is important for drivers who have been injured to get medical, legal, financial, and emotional support to increase their chances of recovery.

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Commercial truck drivers operating 18-wheelers, tankers, big rigs, and other commercial trucks must pass special commercial driver’s license training programs and tests. The tests and training are intended to make these motorists safer on the roads and aim to prevent collisions. In an effort to reduce trucking collisions in Miami and other cities, some safety advocates have been recommending changes be made to the commercial driver licensing programs to ensure that they provide the best measure of training to make drivers safe.

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has also announced a study of the commercial license programs. Recently, the agency studies the use of simulators in the training and testing of commercial drivers. The FMCSA compared four types of training, including CDL-focused training (which just focuses on giving drivers enough information to pass the road test), informal training (which is not structured and not intended for certification), conventional training (which involves 44 hours of road training and 104 hours of training the classroom) and simulator training (which involves having at least 60% of road training performed on a simulator). Study results showed that simulator training and conventional training resulted in significantly higher test scores when drivers had to actually pass their licensing tests.

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The Department of Transportation recently announced that soon trucking companies in Mexico will be able to seek authority to conduct cross-border and long-haul operations in the United States. Many assumed that truck drivers from Mexico would be allowed into the country after 1995 as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement, but concerns about safety have limited operations for Mexican carriers in this country. Will the move create more truck accidents in Miami and other communities or have no impact on safety?

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Opposition to the New Plan

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the Teamsters, and other groups oppose the move, saying that safety concerns remain. There are also concerns that allowing the companies into the United States could hurt the domestic job market.

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