Florida Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog
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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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Tow trucks are there to help you if your car breaks down or if you have been in an accident. However, in some cases these trucks can also cause a collision or can become involved in a crash. The reality is that tow truck drivers have a dangerous job and many sustain on-the-job injuries in Homestead and other communities each year.

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There are many ways that a simple tow can go wrong:

1) A tow truck driver can be injured while attempting to help a customer.

One of the reasons why tow truck drivers face such dangers on the job is that they are often called into high-risk situations. They may need to drive out in bad weather or poor visibility to deal with weather-related issues or may be asked to clean up after an accident. While they are pulled over on the side of the road and walking to and from their truck to help others, tow truck drivers are vulnerable to other drivers on the road. If motorists do not slow down when they see a tow truck with its flashing lights, they can easily crash into the tow truck or driver. Each year, serious injuries and fatalities result from this type of negligence.

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There are many rules designed to keep unsafe trucks off the roads. Despite that, about 25% of the 14,000 truck-related fatalities that have occurred between 2009 and 2014 in this country have involved a truck that had safety violations on their record.

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Trucks are Becoming Safer

Trucks are in fact becoming safer, in part due to improved technology. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, large trucks have a fatal accident rate of 1.42 crashes per 100 million miles driven. For these vehicles, the rate of fatal crashes declined by half in the 1994-2010 period. Safety experts say that improved training and improved truck safety has resulted in the lower rates.

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Trucks on Hollywood and Florida roads are a part of driving in the region. In most cases, you may pass tankers, tractor trailers, and big rigs without a second thought. However, a simple drive can become scary in seconds if something goes wrong with a commercial truck sharing the road with you.

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One of the scarier things that can happen is a tire blowout. Commercial trucks carry a lot of weight and sometimes that excess weight places too much pressure on the tires. The tires can get worn down or overheated, eventually bursting. In some cases, trucks can roll over sharp debris on the road, which can also cause blowouts. If you’ve ever seen strips of rubber along the side of highways, these are the remnants of tire blowouts.

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Earlier this month, a serious accident in Michigan highlighted the dangers of some types of dangerous cargo. In the chain reaction accident, which took place on a wintry interstate road, 193 vehicles were involved. More than a dozen people were injured in the incident, one fatally. About 76 commercial trucks were part of the collision.

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One of those trucks was carrying fireworks. Unfortunately, in the accident a fire broke out and the fireworks were affected by the heat. Another truck was carrying 44,000 pounds of a dangerous acid known as formic acid. Hazmat teams had to be sent out after the collision caused the acid to leak.

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Commercial truck drivers do a great deal more than simply deliver cargo for clients. Their intensive training and strict licensing means that they have the driving skills and experience to stop many truck and car collisions in Miami and other Florida cities. Truck drivers also act as eyes on the road, stopping criminal behavior on the road and at truck stops.

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Truck Drivers Work to Prevent Traffic Collisions

Most truck drivers have more training and on-the-road experience than passenger car drivers. In some cases, this means that drivers of big rigs and tractor trailers can act quickly to avoid a collision. Truckers may be able to predict a dangerous maneuver and evade a collision. They are also trained in crash avoidance techniques. When other motorists drive unsafely around trucks, they put everyone at risk. In some cases, it is only the quick thinking of truckers that can prevent tragedy.

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South Florida is not only a popular place for food trucks, but also for other mobile businesses. On the streets of Aventura, Miami, and other cities you may see mobile hair salons, gyms, furniture stores, and more. While these businesses can be fun, however, you also need to treat them carefully as they have some of the same issues – such as large blind spots – that any large truck has.

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These small businesses must register their business under the store-on-wheels category when applying for an occupational license. In South Florida, they may also seek individual permits if they want to take part in local events and festivals.

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Truckers are protected by insurance in the event of a truck accident in Hollywood or another community. However, since they are also on the job they should be covered by workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, many truck drivers who are injured in traffic crashes report that they have a hard time getting the full and fair compensation they need for their injuries. There are a few reasons for this:

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1) The truck driver may be blamed for the accident.

Although truck drivers get extensive training and must pass strict driving tests to get their commercial licenses, they can still be blamed for causing a collision. The finger-pointing that can happen following a traffic accident in Hollywood or another community can delay compensation and can mean that the true liable parties are not uncovered. In turn, this can mean that those who are injured do not get the compensation they may be entitled to.

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Truck driver training is an important part of the solution when it comes to preventing trucking collisions in Aventura and other Florida communities. Properly trained drivers understand what steps they need to take to drive safely on the roads and since they understand why safety measures are in place they may be more inclined to follow the rules.

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Truck driver training begins with the steps needed to get a commercial driving license. Drivers who want to drive commercial trucks must take courses and must pass a rigorous written and driving test first. However, safety experts agree that more can be done to ensure that drivers get adequate training and instructions.

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