Articles Posted in Trucking Accidents

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If you have been injured in a trucking collision in Homestead or any Florida community, you may wonder whether you have a legal claim or any options for securing compensation in your case. You may also have lots of other questions about your case, such as: How will I pay for my medical treatment? What will happen to my car? Will I be able to return to work?

One of the ways to answer your questions is to speak with a Homestead personal injury attorney. A skilled attorney can address your concerns and can work to answer some of your questions. He or she can determine the likely total costs of your injuries and can help you understand your rights. He or she can also help you find a mechanic or medical services, if you need them.

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Florida is home to many waterways and as a result has many bridges. Trucks often must cross these bridges in Miami and other cities order to deliver their cargo. Unfortunately, bridges pose a special danger for trucks. In the event of a collision, a two-lane bridge simply does not provide any space for other vehicles to go, which can increase the severity of the crash. In addition, the weight and force of a truck accident can cause severe structural damage to the bridge itself, even leading to bridge collapse.

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There are many federal and state rules in place to keep bridges and vehicles safe. For example, many bridges have clearance limits. This means that trucks above a certain height are not permitted on some bridges. In addition, all bridges have weight limits, so that heavy trucks posing a risk of bridge collapse are not permitted on the structures. Unfortunately, in some cases truckers violate these rules and try to squeeze an overloaded or overweight truck onto a bridge. This can lead to bridge collapse, structural damage, and other problems.

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Truck drivers transport their cargo on tight deadlines, and they often rely on highways and freeways in order to get their cargo to their destination faster. While freeways may be filled with trucks every day, freeways pose a special danger for trucking collisions in Homestead and other communities.

Freeways in Hollywood, Miami, and surrounding areas tend to be busy, especially during rush hour. They also tend to have higher speed limits than city streets. Together, this can create a dangerous combination in the event of a trucking accident. When a tracking accident occurs on a freeway, it is more likely that there will be other cars around the vehicle. This can easily lead to a pileup or multiple vehicle crash. In addition, the high speeds on these roadways can mean that the force of the impact is much greater, potentially leading to rollovers and other serious accidents that can crush smaller vehicles or cause serious injuries and even fatalities.

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The trucking industry uses more technology than ever before. Technology helps truckers avoid traffic collisions in Homestead and other cities and helps save money on fuel. There are many types of technology that truckers and truck carriers rely on, including:

1) GPS.

Ubiquitous in regular cars and trucks, GPS allows truck drivers and delivery drivers to find their destinations, even in unfamiliar areas. The technology also means less time spent looking at maps and more time focusing on the road.

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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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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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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.

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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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