Articles Posted in Trucking Accidents

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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When many people think of truck accidents in Homestead or in Florida, they imagine the big rigs and tractor-trailers that are sometimes flipped on the side of highways and freeways. While it is true that commercial truck accidents are common in Homestead and across South Florida, there other types of truck collisions that can be just as deadly and can lead to catastrophic injury. For example, fire truck crashes can cause devastating injuries and losses.

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Many people do not think about the risks of fire trucks when they pass one on the road. After all, fire trucks are usually racing to help people and to save lives. Unfortunately, the very nature of fire trucks can also mean that they can become a danger on the road if they are operated incorrectly. There are many things that can make fire trucks a hazard on the road:

•There often rushing to fires, speeding through city streets
•Other drivers may not pull over or stop when they see a fire truck, and this can lead to collisions
•Fire trucks may park in unexpected places, making pedestrian accidents and other accidents possible
•There is a lot of wear and tear on fire trucks, and sometimes they can be affected by mechanical failure or other issues that can lead to a crash
Fire trucks need to rush through traffic in order to save lives. However, fire departments are required to ensure that their truck operators are fully trained and qualified to drive their vehicles. They also like to keep their fire trucks correctly maintained and safe for city driving.

Unfortunately, if you have been injured by a fire truck in a pedestrian accident in Homestead or in Florida or if your car has been struck by a fire truck, you may have a hard time getting compensation. Although fire trucks are fully insured, they are generally owned by government entities and it can be difficult to secure compensation from government entities. Government agencies are protected by teams of attorneys as well as powerful insurance companies who will sometimes undervalue claims or not pay out the full amount possible in each case. Government agencies are also protected by law and have limited liability in some cases.

If you have been injured in a fire truck accident, it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney in Homestead or your community. Due to the force and speed of these trucks, these types of accidents tend to be devastating and can easily become fatal. If you have been injured, a personal injury attorney can review your case and can help you find out what your claim may be worth. An experienced attorney can also go toe to toe with government agencies and their insurers, aggressively pursuing compensation on your behalf.

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Interstate highways near Homestead and across Florida are the site of many trucking accidents each year. A new bill working its way through Legislature would attempt to improve the statistics by increasing the speed limit on interstate highways to 75 mph.

The question is whether the speed limit would mean more truck and automobile accidents in Homestead and Florida – or fewer. Opponents of the move say that increasing the speed limit will encourage drivers to go faster, leading to more traffic accidents in Homestead and other cities as well as more fatalities.

Supporters of the bill say that the bill would actually lead to fewer traffic crashes. They argue that many drivers are already going 75 mph and the new speed limit would simply reflect this and would encourage more drivers to drive at similar speeds, discouraging collisions. They point to studies that have shown that speed alone does not lead to more crashes – rather, it is a disparity of speed between motorists that is most likely to lead to accidents.

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Bill SB 392 is sponsored by Senator Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg and Jeff Clemens of D-Lake Worth. Already, the proposed law had passed through committees and has not yet faced considerable opposition. If passed, the bill would permit the Department of Transportation or increase speed limits on rural, four-lane divided highways to 70 mph from the current 65 mph and would allow the agency to increase limits on limited access highways and interstate highways from a current 70 mph to 75 mph. The speed limit on other roads could be increased to 65 mph if the new bill passes.

Jeff Clemens has noted that in the middle of the 1990s the national speed limit was quashed, allowing for speeds higher than the 55 mph that were current at the time. Since then, Clemens notes that fatalities for traffic accidents have only increased one year and overall fatalities resulting from traffic fatalities have steadily declined.

However, some safety experts disagree that a speed limit increase would help with reducing traffic accident fatalities in Homestead and other Florida cities. According to a representative from the National Safety Council, increasing speed limits will increase the likelihood of accidents, injuries, and fatalities. One concern for safety experts is that many people on interstate highways already speed above the current 70 mph speed limit. According to some anecdotal information, many drivers who speed on these roadways drive between 75 and 80 mph, and increasing the speed limit may encourage them to go even faster. In Florida, the first five miles per hour above the speed limit results only in warnings or fines. Therefore, drivers might be encouraged to drive 80 mph with the new speed limits without worrying about getting a fine.

What do you think – will the new speed limits improve safety or threaten it on our roads?

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Being involved in a serious trucking collision in Homestead or another Florida community can be extremely traumatic and painful. If you were driving a passenger car or motorcycle at the time of the crash, the difference in size between a big rig or tractor trailer and your much smaller vehicle means that you and your passengers may have sustained serious or even life-threatening injuries in the crash.

These types of collisions, be they T-bone, broadside collisions in Homestead, or override accidents, tend to be very serious. They can and often do lead to fractures, whiplash, paralysis, amputation, and other serious injuries.

In the immediate aftermath of the crash, you may be mostly focused on the pain and medical emergency. However, you will quickly realize that traffic collisions in Homestead and across Florida are not just a health concern, but a financial concern as well. If you have sustained serious injuries in a traffic accident, you may face serious financial as well as health challenges as you recover.

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Many people who have suffered injuries underestimate the likely total costs of their accident. If you have been seriously injured, you can expect to pay for a variety of expenses, including:

•Emergency medical treatment
•Hospital stays
•Visits to specialists
•Medical imaging and other diagnostic tests
•Medication
•Medical devices and equipment, such as braces or crutches
•At-home care or assisted living expenses
•Property damage for anything damaged in the car accident
•Lost income
•Future expected medical expenses
•So-called cosmetic treatments, such as skin grafts for scarring
•Future medical replacement costs – such as the cost of replacing prosthetics every few years
•Car repair or car replacement costs
•The cost of car rentals or taxis while you recover
•The costs of making your home or car accessible as you recover
•Follow-up doctor’s visits
•The increased medical expenses over a lifetime if you need help managing a permanent injury
These expenses can very rapidly add up. A spinal cord injury patient in Homestead or Florida, for example, who has suffered a permanent and serious injury can expect to pay more than $100 000 in medical expenses in the first year of treatment alone. This does not include the costs of lost income, property damages, and other losses. A permanent injury can easily end up costing many hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars over a lifetime.

Even something such as a fracture or whiplash that is likely to result in full recovery can end up costing tens of thousands of dollars because you will need to pay for medical tests and doctor’s visits, car repair bills, lost time at work, and a host of incidental expenses.

Many people who have suffered a serious injury assume that their insurance company will pay for it. After all, that is why drivers pay their insurance premiums. Unfortunately, in some cases insurance carriers undervalue claims and patients end up with serious injuries and no way of paying for all their expenses.

Do not risk this situation. If you have been injured, contact a personal injury attorney in Homestead or your community to find out whether you have a legal claim or other options for compensation.

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Many Florida residents rent trucks each year. Rental trucks are a convenient way to move house, haul furniture, or take care of home reno projects without having to buy your own light truck. Unfortunately, each year people are seriously injured or killed in trucking and traffic accidents in Hollywood and Florida involving rental trucks.

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There are three main issues that can cause problems with rental trucks:

•Many people who rent trucks are not familiar with these larger vehicles and may not know exactly how to handle them safely
•Investigative journalists have found that some rental truck companies are not very conscientious in maintaining their fleets, meaning that some trucks are in poor condition
•Some people rent trucks in order to drive them to unfamiliar locations – such as a new house – and this can increase the likelihood of a crash
If you have been in a rental truck accident, you will generally have some insurance. You may be covered by your car’s regular insurance, by the insurance you purchased from the rental truck company, or by some other form of insurance. Unfortunately, since a rental truck is not your usual vehicle, you may find yourself involved in insurance dispute in Hollywood or your community. All too often, people who are injured seriously or have suffered property damage due to a rental truck issue find that they struggle to get fair compensation for their injuries.

If you have been injured as a result of a car or truck accident involving a rental truck, it is very important to consult with a personal injury attorney in Hollywood or your community. These cases are often very complex. The rental truck company will often point fingers or refuse to accept liability, and the agreement that you signed with the company in order to rent a truck may have wording that limits the liability of the company. In addition, even figuring out where to turn for insurance money can be very complicated. In some cases, your credit card company will cover part of the damages, while in other cases you regular car insurance or the truck company insurance carrier is expected to cover part of the damages.

A personal injury attorney can review your rental truck agreement, the state and maintenance of the vehicle involved, and other details of your case. A qualified attorney can help find figure out whether the truck company was negligent in maintaining the vehicle or did anything that could have contributed to the accident. If there are liable parties, a personal injury attorney can help you pursue them in order to get fair compensation. In many cases, you also need help with the insurance process in these cases, and a personal injury attorney can help with this and with negotiating with the insurance carrier.

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Being in a car accident or truck accident in Homestead or another community can change virtually every area of your life. While personal injury attorneys in Homestead and across Florida tend to focus on the tangible damages – including the injuries, medical costs, and property damage – that can incur in collisions, the reality is that any trucking accident can be extremely traumatic. If you have lost a loved one or have suffered a permanent injury, especially, it is normal to feel grief, rage, and even extreme upset after your collision. Even a serious injury from which you expect to make a full recovery can leave you traumatized and upset.

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Not much is said about the grief, trauma, and emotional upheaval that occurs after traffic accidents and truck accidents. However, these types of accidents can cause or contribute to severe problems, including:

•Sleep disorders
•Posttraumatic stress disorder (ptsd)
•Relationship problems
•Mood swings
•Depression
•Eating disorders
•Substance abuse
•Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
While most of us who have been in a serious accident are rushed to the emergency room or at least get some medical help, all too often the emotional impact of a traffic accident is ignored. This can be a real concern, as the trauma of a serious accident can be debilitating and does require medical treatment.

If you have been in a serious truck accident, there are several things you will want to do to take care of your emotional state:

•Practice good self-care. Follow your doctor’s directions about medication and treatment to the letter. In addition, make sure that you get adequate sleep, rest, good food, and gentle exercise if you can. Give yourself time to heal from the injuries and do not rush to get back to work or back to your daily routine if you’re not up to it. You need to be gentle with yourself.

•Stay alert for symptoms. If you have a broken bone, it can be easy to see the problem. If you simply feel upset or not quite yourself after a serious truck accident, it can be more difficult to tell what the matter is. Consider keeping a journal in order to keep track of any symptoms, such as difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, and other issues. If you notice any issues, seek a doctor’s help right away.

•Get quality medical attention. If you have been permanently or seriously injured, getting supportive quality medical care that increases your chances of recovering properly from your injuries can be a big help. It can help you feel more positive about your future.

•Seek the help of a support group or support network. There are many support groups out there for victims of car accidents and truck accidents, people who have lost a loved one, and those who have suffered from a serious injury. Seek the support groups out if you need help. They can be a great place to learn more about dealing with an injury or loss and they can help provide you with the emotional support you need as you adjust to life after the collision. Friends and family can also be an important support network when you need to speak with someone.

•Speak with a personal injury attorney in Homestead or your community. A personal injury attorney can help you find out whether you have options for compensation, which can help you pay for therapy, counseling, and other forms of care that can help you recover fully from your accident.

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