Articles Posted in Trucking Accidents

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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.


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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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?


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.


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.


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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Additional motorists during this time of year can lead to dangerous situations, especially since many of the additional drivers on the roads during the holiday season are big rigs and tractor trailers making deliveries to customers and stores. These larger vehicles have more blind spots and some passenger car drivers may not be used to driving around larger trucks, making for a potentially hazardous combination.


To stay safe when sharing the road with commercial trucks, make sure that you:

1) Obey the speed limit.

Speeding can increase your chances of an accident by making it harder for you to stop in time to avoid a crash. If you are in a collision, speed can make your accident much worse and can lead to more serious injuries by increasing the impact of the crash.

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As trucking collisions continue to happen in Homestead and across the country, many people ask why the numbers of these crashes is not dropping. Recently, one station, CNBC, aired an investigative report about the state of the trucking industry. According to the report and the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA), the number of fatal trucking accidents across the country increased close to 18% between 2009 and 2012, despite an increased focus on driving safety. According to investigative reporters, there are a few key reasons why big rig and tractor trailer collisions continue to occur:

1) Repeat offenders.

Federal safety rules and policies are meant to prevent traffic accidents in Hollywood and across the country, but enforcing those rules and getting unsafe trucks and drivers off the roads is more difficult than many realize. According to the CNBC investigation, about 20% of trucks inspected in 2012 were not safe to be on the roads due to out-of-service violations such as bad tires. That amounts to more than 2 million potential unsafe trucks on the roads. In addition, about 5% of drivers inspected had violations that could have prevented them from driving. That amounts to about 171,000 unsafe drivers on the roads.


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If you have a recent high school grad in your household moving on to college this year, you may be making plans to help your child move into their dorm room or college apartment. Unfortunately, moving truck accidents in Miami and other cities can easily happen during a move to college. To help prevent this from happening to your family, follow these simple tips:

1) Consider hiring professional movers rather than renting a moving truck.

Renting a truck may seem like a budget friendly option, but do-it-yourself moving does come with certain risks. Investigative reports have found that some moving truck rental companies do not maintain their fleets in a responsible manner. In addition, someone who is experienced with driving a passenger car may find the added blind spots and added size of a large truck overwhelming. You may increase your chances of being in a traffic accident in Miami or at your destination by driving a truck that you are not used to.

2) Keep moving costs low by combining moves.

Many people choose to rent a moving truck rather than hire movers because of cost concerns. If this is true for you, you may be able to afford movers by keeping your costs low. For example, have your child take only the absolute minimum when they move – this should be easy since most dorm rooms only have limited space for possessions anyway. In addition, if two or three students are moving to the same college, they can pool their possessions and use one moving company together to enjoy a discount.

moving truck

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Waste truck collisions in Miami, Homestead, and other Florida cities are a cause for concern. Although often low-speed crashes, these accidents pose a high risk for injury, since waste trucks are so heavy and large. These collisions especially tend to affect pedestrians who may be trying to get around the truck. In many cases, motorists and pedestrians may not notice the frequent stops waste trucks make.

Last month, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 7005 into law. The transportation bill includes rules that will hopefully help prevent recycling and waste truck collisions. One part of the bill includes waste and recycling trucks in the state’s “Move Over Act.” The “Move Over Act” has been in Florida for some time and requires drivers to move over one lane or slow down to 20 mph under the posted speed limit when approaching a tow truck or emergency vehicle. The law was aimed at reducing pedestrian accidents in Miami and other cities caused by drivers passing too close to emergency workers and tow truck drivers who were assisting people on the side of the road. Thanks to the passage of House Bill 7005 into law, recycling and waste trucks will now be included, potentially preventing Florida and Miami roadway collisions involving recycling and sanitation workers.


The National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) has praised the new law and has also continued its own efforts to pass “Slow Down to Get Around” laws in other states. The organization also has a “Slow Down to Get Around” campaign to alert drivers of the importance of slowing down and driving with more caution when driving near or around sanitation trucks. The campaign is meant to help reduce traffic accidents as well as sanitation worker workplace accidents in Miami and other cities.

Safety experts and the National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) have a few tips for drivers to help them avoid car collisions in Miami and other cities:

1) Keep in mind that waste and recycling collection trucks make frequent stops and have larger blind spots. Driving near these vehicles is not like driving near other cars – or even near commercial trucks. Drivers need to be more alert and prepared to stop.

2) Be aware of pedestrian traffic around sanitation trucks. Workers need to move from the truck to the sidewalk to pick up recyclables and other items. This makes them vulnerable to collisions. When you see a sanitation truck stopped or parked, keep alert for any workers in the area.

3) On your own waste and recycling collection day, use extra caution when leaving your driveway for work. When backing up, make sure that there are no city workers in your blind spots. On collection day, place your recycling and any other items for pick-up at the appropriate place on the curb.

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Industrial warehouses, construction sites, and other workplaces are often the site of forklift truck accidents in Homestead and other Florida communities. In many cases, these workplace accidents in Homestead and other cities are caused by uncontrolled traffic, overloading of forklifts, speed, or difficulty with the machinery itself. According to safety experts, however, there are several things that employees and employers can do to prevent these types of injuries and accidents:

1) Ensure good planning.

Written safety policies can go a long way towards preventing workplace injuries. Employers should check their workplaces for hazards and come up with concrete, written plans for preventing injury. While not every accident can be prevented, many can be foreseen and in many cases steps can be taken to minimize the risk.


2) Institute good training programs.

Undertrained and underqualified employees are more likely to be injured and more likely to file workers’ compensation claims in Homestead and other communities because they are more likely to be injured on the job. It is important for employers to screen employees carefully and to train them for job-specific tasks to make sure that workers know how to stay safe on the job.

3) Take steps to prevent tip-overs.

Tip-overs are one of the leading causes of serious injury with forklift trucks. Unfortunately, when a forklift starts to tip over, many workers on instinct try to jump clear of the truck. In too many cases, this leads to crushing injuries, fatalities, and spinal cord injuries in Homestead and other cities. According to safety experts, there are several things that employees can do to prevent tip-overs:

•Keep the load on the trucks stable by not overloading the truck and by lowering loaded forks and tilting them backwards
•When using a forklift, take turns at a slower and steady pace
•Be cautious when using forklifts to move tall, oddly shaped, wide, or otherwise unstable loads, finding alternative ways to move them where possible.

4) Allow only responsible drivers on forklift trucks.

Proper supervision can help prevent any sort of irresponsible or reckless driving. Even if done in jest, any sort of irresponsible driving can be extremely dangerous, simply because forklift trucks are often unstable and every heavy.

5) Take extra steps to protect pedestrians around forklifts.

One of the big problems with forklifts is that they are often used in workplaces where there are also employees and workers walking in the same area that the forklift is being used. It is important to use the signals and horns on the forklift to alert workers in the area that the truck is in motion. The person operating the forklift should keep their eyes in the direction the forklift is moving and should be vigilant about checking blind spots and checking for pedestrians in the area. Use warning signs and floor markings, where possible, to remind workers where forklifts may be in use.

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According to some safety experts, Electronic Control Modules (ECMs), which are also known as speed limiters, can reduce the rates of fatal trucking collisions in Homestead and other cities. Speed limiters work by using electronic sensors that calibrate a truck’s speed and send the information to a computer in the engine. The limiters, also known as governors, can be set to a specific maximum speed. Once a truck reaches that limit, the engine’s computer limits the flow of fuel and air to the engine and prevents the truck from exceeding the pre-set speed.

Now, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is going to require the use of ECMs for some of the trucks on the country’s roads. In a new report, DOT revealed that some trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds and driving on roads with speeds of 55mph or more may be required to use the devices as early as October 2014.


According to safety experts and supporters of the DOT mandate, ECMs could mean as many as 1,115 fewer fatal collisions each year. According to previous research, speed plays a major role in truck and car accidents in Homestead and other cities, with about 73 percent of heavy truck crash fatalities occurring on roads with speed limits of 55 mph. Research has shown that speeding trucks have much longer stopping distances and are more subject to rollover crashes as well as accidents. Many in the industry feel that reducing overall speeds is a good way to prevent fatalities.

Many groups are supportive of the DOT changes. Road Safe America (RSA) has suggested that all trucks made after 1990 be equipped with ECMs and the American Trucking Association (ATA) has stated that the speed limiters should be placed on all trucks. According to truck industry insiders, many heavy trucks are already equipped with the devices.

Research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the NHTSA and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has found that truck accidents in Homestead and across the country are actually less common than crashes involving passenger vehicles. However, heavy truck accidents are more likely to cause fatalities. Each year, about half a million heavy truck collisions occur across the country. According to the IIHS, in 2010 alone, 3,413 individuals suffered fatal injuries as a result of heavy truck crashes, an eight percent increase when compared with the year before. That year, although large trucks represented only 4% of the registered vehicles on American roads, these vehicles accounted for 9% of traffic accident fatalities.

Not everyone agrees with the DOT rules. Truck drivers and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) have both spoken out against measures which would make speed limiters mandatory. The group claims that most truck accidents are caused by motorists driving passenger cars, so limiting speed for truck drivers will not lower accident rates. In addition, truck drivers and the OOIDA noted that limiting speed may actually be dangerous as it may not allow trucks to pass each other. They have pointed to studies showing that vehicles driving at differing speeds is what causes accidents, and since ECMs will not allow truck drivers to drive with the flow of traffic, they may potentially contribute to crashes.

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