July 15, 2014

Will Florida’s New Law Reduce the Risk of Waste Truck Collisions?

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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June 24, 2014

Simple Ways to Prevent Forklift Truck Injury in Homestead and Other Cities

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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June 10, 2014

ECMs May Become Mandatory – Will They Prevent Truck Accidents in Homestead and Other Cities?

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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May 13, 2014

Fire Truck Accidents in Homestead and Other Cities: What You Need to Know

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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April 3, 2014

Would Speed Changes in Florida Affect Trucking Accident Rates in Homestead and Beyond?

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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April 1, 2014

How Much Will Your Truck Accident in Homestead Cost You?

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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March 25, 2014

Dealing with Insurance after a Rental Truck Accident

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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March 20, 2014

Steps for Dealing with Grief and Trauma after Your Homestead Truck Accident

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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March 18, 2014

How to Cope with Soft Tissue Injuries After a Trucking Accident

The types of truck and car accidents that get featured in the nightly news often involve severe injuries such as paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and fatalities. Compared to that, soft tissue injuries seem less severe and less newsworthy, but these types of injuries can cause a great deal of suffering and can keep you from work and from living your life fully.

A soft tissue injury is one that affects the muscles, ligaments, or tendons. Tendons are the bands that attach bones and muscles while ligaments are the tissue that stabilize joints and connect bones. Injuries to these or to muscle can result from slip and fall accidents in Homestead and other communities, but these injuries are also common with sports injuries and with traffic crashes. Any time a vulnerable area is suddenly twisted or overused, a soft tissue injury is possible.

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Soft tissue injuries can actually involve a number of types of injuries, including:

•Strains
•Contusions
•Tendonitis
•Sprains
•Bursitis

These injuries can be extremely painful and can leave you unable to live your life normally. A severe sprain, for example, can cause swelling and severe pain, leaving you unable to place weight on the affected site. Severe sprains can also cause swelling and severe pain.

Mild soft tissue injuries are often treated with elevation, compression, rest, and applications of ice. Elastic bandages are also sometimes used to reduce swelling. For severe soft tissue injuries, a splint or other medical device may be needed to keep the area from moving so that healing can take place. Of course, since these types of injuries are quite painful, pain management is also an important part of the healing process.

After a car collision in Homestead or another community, swelling or pain in an affected area may be the first sign that a soft tissue injury has occurred. While soft tissue injuries are quite common in traffic crashes, they cannot be detected with X-rays the way that fractures can, so it can be quite difficult to diagnose these injuries. Worse, many patients find that it can take hours or days for symptoms to develop. A patient (and their doctor) may assume that no injury has occurred only to find that pain develops and a soft tissue injury is in fact present.

In these situations, it can sometimes be difficult for a patient to prove that the injury was caused by the car accident and it can be challenging to secure compensation for the injuries. If a driver files an insurance claim quickly after a car or truck accident in Homestead or their city, they may get an insurance offer before they even develop symptoms or get a proper diagnosis for their soft tissue injuries. If they accept the insurance money, they may lose out on the chance to get fair compensation that will cover the medical treatment for their injury. In some cases, the insurance company may be suspicious about the cause of the injury or may claim that the injury was not caused by the accident because no symptoms were seen right away.

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March 11, 2014

New Ideas for Driver Training To Curb Commercial Truck Accidents in Hollywood and Across the Country

Members of Congress have recently begun talks about training regulations for commercial truck drivers in a bid to reduce the number of car and truck accidents on the roads. Of course, there are already many regulations and laws in place to prevent trucking collisions in Hollywood and other cities across the country, but despite these precautions serious traffic crashes involving trucks still continue to occur.

Experts believe that many broadside crashes, head-on collisions, and other types of traffic accidents involving commercial trucks often occur do to driver error. Studies have shown that drivers with less experience and training have higher accident risks when compared with more experienced motorists.

It seems to make sense that hiring more experienced and highly-trained drivers would therefore help reduce the number of truck and car crashes in Hollywood and other communities. However, according to the trucking industry, the current labor shortages could make that a challenge. Right now, there is a high demand for truck drivers and a shortage of experienced and qualified truck drivers in the industry. In some cases, motor carriers must hire new drivers with less training and real-world experience.

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Another issue is fraud. According to some safety experts, the number of jobs in the industry has some job applicant falsifying their credentials or claiming to have passed qualified driving instructions when they have not. Of course, it is important for motor carriers to screen applicants to ensure that they have the correct qualifications. However, in some cases applicants do a very good job of hiding the fact that they don’t have the driver training needed for the job.

Another issue is job training itself. According to some safety experts, some truck drivers do not get enough instruction – from motor carriers and in driver training classes – about basic issues such as turning distance and proper braking techniques. This can lead to incorrect braking techniques in Hollywood and other issues which can lead to crashes.

The discussions among Members of Congress include the possibility of passing mandatory commercial truck driver training guidelines. These would ensure that all truck drivers who are licensed have been taught the basics.

Legislators have also discussed possibly using certain technology in commercial trucks to reduce the risk of accidents. For example, there are some devices that can sound a warning if a driver is drifting out of a lane. There have been efforts to make these devices mandatory on all 18-wheelers and big rigs, but so far the laws have not passed.

Some safety advocates have advised that using more technology in the classroom could also help. There are driving simulators that allow truck drivers to approximate the experience of driving in bad weather or heavy traffic, for example, and some experts feel that these simulators could help drivers get some driving experience that simulates real-world driving. Other safety experts believe that the key is continual learning and would like to see mandatory additional training for commercial drivers, so that these drivers continue to get some professional instruction and in-class education and training even after being licensed.

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February 27, 2014

What Should You Do if You Are in a Trucking Accident in Homestead Involving an Intrastate Truck?

Being in a trucking accident in Homestead or your community is terrifying. In the blink of an eye, your entire life could change if you suffer a serious injury. Sadly, these types of traffic collisions in Homestead and surrounding areas are still too common, even with new legislation and education campaigns.

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If you have been in a truck accident, it is important that you do several things:

1) Get immediate medical help for anyone who is injured. Call 911 if anyone appears to be seriously injured. If you are dealing with spinal cord injury or possible head injury or internal injuries, do not attempt to move the injured person unless the 911 dispatcher tells you to. You could end up causing more injuries.

2) Remain calm and strategic after the accident. Tempers can run very high immediately following a serious accident. When speaking with the truck driver and anyone else involved, stay calm and stick to facts. Avoid saying anything at all that could be seen as admitting blame.

3) Get medical advice right away. Even if you feel fine, get a doctor to look you over as soon as possible after the collision. If you have sustained a head injury, soft tissue injury, or certain other injuries, symptoms might not show up right away.

4) Document everything. The more you document, the better. At the scene of the accident, get the truck driver’s name, insurance information, the name of the truck carrier they work for, and any registration and license information from the truck. Take photos of the scene if you can, with your phone if you have no camera with you. Get the contact information of any witnesses. When you get home, continue your documentation. Keep notes of any injuries or symptoms and take photos of any lacerations, property damage, or bruises you have. Keep receipts for car repairs, transportation costs, medication, and anything else. Most personal injury lawyers in Homestead agree that you simply cannot have too much documentation so write down everything and keep every bit of paperwork related to the accident and your injuries. Keep everything in one box or file for easy reference.

5) Report the accident. You will want to report the accident to police if it was serious or if you suspect that laws were violated. Get a copy of the police report.

6) Start the insurance claims process. Your insurance adjuster will want to get started on the process right away.

7) Contact a personal injury attorney. Even if you have excellent insurance, it is important to get legal advice. Truck accidents tend to involve powerful truck companies and insurance companies. There may also be multiple liable parties. You may be entitled to more compensation than you realize and this compensation can make a big difference in the quality of your medical care and the life you enjoy after your accident.

8) Practice good self-care. A truck accident is a traumatic event. After a collision, make sure that you take care of yourself. Follow your doctor’s instructions, get adequate rest, and speak to a support group or your doctor if you are having trouble with anxiety or other worries.

Continue reading "What Should You Do if You Are in a Trucking Accident in Homestead Involving an Intrastate Truck?" »

February 11, 2014

Illegal Trucking Can Cause Devastating Accidents

Even trucks that are on the road legally can cause devastating truck accidents in Miami and other cities. However, some trucks are even more dangerous because they are on the road when they shouldn’t be. Illegal trucking can include:

1) Trucks driven by illegal drivers. In 2006, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) reported 15,000 suspicious commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. After an investigation, about a third of them gave up their licenses or had them revoked. Illegal licensing can take place in a number of ways. Someone who is not eligible for a CDL may falsify their identity or other documents in order to obtain a license, for example. In some cases, drivers may pay someone else to take their tests or may pay to get a fake CDL. Some safety experts think that there may be thousands of illegal drivers on the roads, and these drivers have generally not passed the strict physical tests and driving tests needed to operate big rigs and commercial trucks. Quite simply, they mean a bigger risk of truck and car crashes in Miami and other cities.

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2) Trucks without adequate registration and attention to legalities. Truck drivers, trucks, and their cargo must be correctly registered and licensed with a DOT number, registration tags, MC number, and other verification. It can cost thousands of dollars to get legal operating credentials and insurance. As a result, some truck carriers in Miami are negligent in this regard and do not take all the proper steps to keep their fleets legal, which can result in traffic crashes and fatalities. In some cases, trucking companies are penalized for their actions. For example, West Palm Beach’s U.S. district court recently fined a Florida trucking company $750,000 for illegal transport of hazardous materials. In some cases, however, the illegal activities are not uncovered until after a crash has taken place.

3) Illegal trucks engaged in illegal activities. Some trucks are not legally registered and insured because of money concerns. Some, however, are engaged in illegal operations such as smuggling people or goods. In these cases, truck drivers may not be registered correctly in an effort to cover their tracks. If you are in an accident with this type of illegal truck, it can be difficult to get compensation since the truck driver’s or truck carrier’s insurance company may deny the claim. In some cases, the truck may not even have insurance.

It can be terrifying to be in a truck accident. If your truck accident involves a truck that is in any way illegal, though, it can be even more challenging. You are more likely to be involved in a hit and run accident in Miami in these cases, since a driver may decide to leave rather than risk being caught with illegal cargo or an illegal truck. The truck may be uninsured or you may find yourself involved in an insurance dispute when you try to make a claim.

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January 30, 2014

How Truck Driver Shortages Could Lead to Traffic Collisions in Hollywood and Across the Country

Florida relies heavily on the trucking industry for its agricultural industry and its many other industries. Truck drivers bring goods and products into the state and transport Florida products all over the United States and beyond. Unfortunately, the industry has been affected by a labor shortage and labor problems that could affect not only profits but also the rate of truck accidents in Hollywood and across the state.

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There are a number of issues affecting the current labor shortage in the trucking industry:

1) The labor shortage is caused in part by an aging population. According to a study written by Richard Beilock of the University of Florida, the median age of Americans will be 39.1 years, up from 34 years old in 1994. The older population will mean a shrinking work force (as more people recover) but will also be bad news for an industry such as trucking, where physical demands require a younger workforce.

2) The overall work force is shrinking. In addition, Beilock notes that many are moving to white-collar and high-tech occupations that offer higher pay for less dangerous work. This can make it harder for the industry to attract the most qualified workers from a shrinking pool.

3) The turnover rate for drivers is high. According to The American Trucking Association, at large motor carriers the turnover rate for truck drivers was 104% in 2012’s third quarter. Some positions were turned over more than once during the time period, which is why the figure was higher than 100%. A high turnover rate in any profession, of course, creates problems as employers look for ways to replace lost workers. In trucking, the problem can be even more demanding because drivers must undergo screening and training as well.


4) New rules will place more demands on motor carriers to hire more drivers. Last year, hours of service rules changed so that truck drivers are allowed to drive a maximum of 70 hours per workweek, compared to the 82 hours per week allowed before. This means that most motor carriers will need to hire more drivers to make the same number of shipments as before.

Some claim that these issues do contribute to traffic accidents in Hollywood and other cities. They note that a shrinking work force and more pressure on motor carriers to hire more workers can mean that there are less demands placed on drivers and that less safe drivers may be placed on the roads just to fill demand. Others note that current drivers may be pressured to drive longer hours, which can also contribute to a higher risk of truck and car accidents in Hollywood and across the country.

Other experts point out that the current state of the industry could be good news for safety in the long run. Since motor carriers are eager to hire drivers and since truck driving cannot be outsourced, they are pushed to offer better compensation and working conditions to workers. Already, long-haul truck drivers can make 50 cents per mile or even more. Better work conditions can mean safer conditions while better pay can mean that the industry becomes more attractive to highly qualified and safe drivers. In addition, motor carriers must still abide by federal laws. Even with the labor shortage, they are responsible for putting only safe drivers on the roads.

Continue reading "How Truck Driver Shortages Could Lead to Traffic Collisions in Hollywood and Across the Country " »

January 28, 2014

Truck Drivers May be Prone to Illness, Traffic Accidents Because of Their Jobs

According to the CDC, truck drivers have one of the most dangerous jobs in America. In 2004, the fatality rate for tractor-trailer and heavy truck drivers was about 11 times higher than the fatality rate for the average U.S. worker. That same year, the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses found that truck drivers had the second-highest number of injuries among all jobs. That year, about 63,570 drivers were affected by non-fatal injuries.

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In addition to the risk of car and truck accidents in Hollywood and other communities, however, there is also the risk of serious illness for truck drivers. We are only now becoming more aware of the risks of illnesses and studies are showing that truck drivers may be more prone to certain illnesses due to the long hours of driving, the strain of handling cargo, and the irregular schedules they face. Studies have shown that this job results in a number of illness risks, including the risk of:

1) Heart attacks and cardiac disease. Many researchers blame the sedentary nature of truck driving for the heart attacks and heart disease that truck drivers face. Many studies have linked long periods of sitting with increased risk of mortality and heart disease, and long-haul truck drivers certainly do sit a great deal. While commercial drivers may need to load and unload, the amount of physical activity they get may not offset the many hours of inactivity. In addition, eating well on the road is a challenge, and some drivers may rely on fast food meals or on truck stop meals, which tend to be high in salt and fats. All of these conditions can lead to heart problems.

2) Cancers. A recent study by Dr. L. Joseph Su of the National Cancer Institute found a link between aggressive prostate cancer and certain occupations – specifically, truck driving, garden shop work, and work in the financial industry. Su suggested that truck drivers may face a higher risk of some cancers due to whole-body vibrations present during long hours of driving. Other studies have also shown a link between cancer and truck driving and have suggested that sedentary lifestyles coupled with limited healthy food options while on the road may play a role. Some truck drivers also deal with hazardous cargo materials, and this could potentially affect their cancer risk, some researchers note.

3) Sleep disorders. Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea affect not only drivers but can also affect their ability to drive safely. Experts say that some traffic accidents in Hollywood and other communities are caused not only by fatigue but by sleep conditions. Drivers may be more at risk for sleep disorders, according to some health experts, because of the long hours of inactivity and the shift work that is part of the job. In turn, sleep disorders increase the risk of truck and car accidents in Hollywood and other communities since these disorders can cause truck drivers to fall asleep at the wheel.

4) Obesity. While not an illness in itself, obesity can lead to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and a host of other conditions which can be dangerous for drivers. The long hours of sitting combined with the difficulty of eating right can mean drivers are at increased risk of obesity. Unfortunately, even though obesity and many other disorders are linked to truck driving, drivers may have a hard time getting workers compensation in Hollywood and other insurance benefits for their illnesses and conditions, making it harder for them to get assistance.

5) Mental health issues.
A 2012 study conducted by M. Shattell, Y. Apostolopoulos, C. Collins, S. Sonmez, and C. Fehrenbacher found that truck drivers may face an increased instance of some conditions that could lead to mental health issues. Conducting a survey of 316 truck drivers, researchers concluded that 27.9% of the drivers experienced loneliness, 26.9% suffered from depression, 20.6% reported chronic sleep issues, 14.5% admitted to anxiety and 13% suffered from other emotional problems. Researchers concluded that these were issues that could significantly affect mental health and were caused by the stresses of the job as well as limited access to health care and support on the road.

Continue reading "Truck Drivers May be Prone to Illness, Traffic Accidents Because of Their Jobs" »

January 21, 2014

Resources Available to Truck Accident Victims in Hollywood and Across Florida

Being in a truck accident in Hollywood or anywhere in Florida is a deeply traumatic experience and if you have been seriously injured you will need an entire team of support in order to heal physically and emotionally. It can take months or even a lifetime to heal, especially if you are permanently injured and will need to get used to new levels of ability. Luckily, there are many resources that can help:

1) Your doctor. If you are seriously injured in a truck or car accident in Hollywood or another community, you will likely be rushed to a hospital. Even if you are fortunate enough to walk away from the crash, however, it is important to consult with your doctor as soon as possible after the collision. Some injuries, including soft tissue injuries and brain injuries, may not seem to present symptoms right away but can still be very serious. When speaking with your physician, be sure to discuss any symptoms or emotional upheaval you may be experiencing. Your doctor can help you find specialists and even support groups in your area to help you deal with the aftermath of a serious traffic collision.

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2) Your insurance company. Your insurance company can help you find a rental car, can help you file a claim, and can help you financially after an accident. You will want to report your truck collision to your insurer promptly.

3) Law enforcement. If you suspect that the other driver was doing something illegal or if the crash was serious, you will want to contact law enforcement. They may be able to tell you about local advocacy groups and resources and can also help you with pursuing criminal charges.

4) A personal injury attorney. Before accepting any insurance money or making any important decisions in your case, you will want to consult with a personal injury attorney in Hollywood or your community. A good attorney can review your case and can give you legal advice, so that you can evaluate compensation offers. A good lawyer can also help you find local experts, car repair shops, and other resources that can help as you heal.

5) Advocacy and support groups.
Support groups and advocacy groups are excellent resources for the long-term process of healing. They can provide advocacy, counseling, and other important services. CRASH Foundation (Citizens for Reliable And Safe Highway), for example, is a support group that can help you find experts and medical services. They also provide advocacy, phone support, information, counseling, a support network, and other resources. You can reach them via their website (http://www.trucksafety.org). Another good organization is the Trauma Support Network. This group provides educational and support services for all trauma survivors – including those who have suffered loss or severe injury in a collision. This group offers online support forums, in-person support groups, and other services. You can reach them via phone (1-800-556-7890) or website (http://www.traumasurvivorsnetwork.org/pages/peer-support-groups).

Continue reading "Resources Available to Truck Accident Victims in Hollywood and Across Florida" »

January 16, 2014

Could Driverless Trucks Help Prevent Truck Accidents in Homestead and Across the Country?

On this blog, we’ve written about self-driving cars such as the Google car. In addition to autonomous vehicles, though, truck makers are also working on making autonomous commercial trucks, and some claim that these trucks could help prevent car and truck collisions in Homestead and other cities.

Companies such as Volvo Trucks and Scania have been working on technology that would build self-driving tractor trailers and big rigs while companies such as Scania, Caterpillar, and Komatsu have been working on designs for autonomous vehicles such as dumpsters and diggers. In 2012, Volvo Trucks launched a type of autonomous vehicle platooning demonstration on public roads. The platooning self-driving trucks still rely on a truck driver, but that truck driver controls not only his or her own vehicle but also uses a digital system to control the braking, speed, and steering of two or more self-driving trucks behind him or her. Now, a new project has been announced to develop the laws and technology needed to put these types of truck trains on roads. Some experts predict this type of truck platooning could be allowed in the UK within the decade.

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If this type of technology ever comes to the US, will it have economic and safety implications? Will it help to reduce the number of truck and car accidents in Homestead and across the country?

So far, in the UK, truckers have already noted their concerns about the number of jobs that self-driving trucks could cost. Economic analysts, though, have stated that the move could slash transportation costs and boost economies dramatically.

The European Union has already allowed and even demanded some types of technology that take some control from driver’s hands. For example, the EU has made advanced emergency braking systems (AEBS) mandatory for all new trucks that will be on the roads in 2018. These brakes can act without driver input to avoid or prevent crashes.

Eventually, analysts say that the aim may be for fully autonomous commercial trucks, but the semi-driverless platooning trucks may become a reality very soon in Europe. Most experts agree that driverless commercial trucks will be on the roads before the widespread use of autonomous cars. Partly, this is because truck carriers may be more willing than car buyers to invest in the technology because of the huge financial gains it can bring.

Safety experts and truck manufacturers claim that driverless trucks can be much safer than traditional trucking since there is less reliance on human drivers, who are subject to driver error. Issues such as driver fatigue are not an issue with self-driving trucks.

Critics, however, note that platooning will still rely on human drivers and any errors that these drivers make could create truly catastrophic accidents as they will involve multiple large commercial trucks. In addition, critics note that the technology has to be completely reliable, since the risks with larger commercial trucks – especially those carrying dangerous goods or hazardous materials – are so high. Despite the concerns, however, many experts agree that driverless trucks and cars are the future and the question is when, rather than if, these vehicles will dominate the roads.

What about you – do you believe that autonomous trucks will eventually help prevent traffic crashes in Homestead?

Continue reading "Could Driverless Trucks Help Prevent Truck Accidents in Homestead and Across the Country?" »

January 9, 2014

How Truck Accidents in Hollywood and Other Cities Affect Entire Families

Traffic accidents in Hollywood cause terrible pain and suffering for those who sustain serious head injuries, spinal cord trauma, whiplash, and other serious injuries. However, researchers also note that serious car and truck accidents also have a profound impact on the families of those who are injured. In fact, according to a new book, After The Crash: Assessment and Treatment of Motor Vehicle Accident Survivors, 10-45% percent of people who are injured in the country’s some three million car accidents suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In fact, the study’s authors, doctors Edward B. Blanchard and Edward J. Hickling, say that traffic collisions are the leading cause of PTSD in the non-military population.

What many people don’t acknowledge is that the impact of a serious car or truck accident in Hollywood or another city doesn’t impact just the injured party. If someone suffers from PTSD or a permanent injury such as a head injury or spinal cord trauma, it is likely that the patient’s entire family may suffer as well – and currently experts say that there is not enough support and not enough resources in place for family members who suffer in this way.

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After a serious car or truck collision, someone who is seriously injured may not be able to return to work and may require years or even a lifetime of medical treatment. For the family of such a patient, the medical treatments and loss of a job can also prove a big challenge. For example, a family where an income earner has been seriously injured in a crash may face financial challenges. Members of the family who have never had to work may need to get involved in order to help replace lost income and pay for medical care.

Someone who is injured may also come to rely on their family more after being seriously injured. An amputation patient in Hollywood, for example, may rely on family and friends to get to and from medical appointments and may even rely on them for everyday tasks such as grooming or getting around. Emotional support may also be needed.

Some brain injury patients in Hollywood and other cities experience symptoms such as mood swings, depression, personality changes, loss of memory, and other symptoms which can affect family members as well. Family and friends may often want to help but may not know how or may feel guilty about being unhurt or even wanting time away from the injured family member. In some cases, families can have a hard time cooperating because of the turmoil of serious injuries or may not know how to function with a seriously injured person. Studies have shown that seriously injured patients may also withdraw from loved ones or can even become dependent on alcohol or medication to cope with the pain and loss after a serious accident. This, too, can also tear a family about.

What can be done in these situations? Acknowledging that families of patients suffer as well is an important first step. Psychologists also note that family counseling and support systems for family members is also important in helping the entire family deal with the aftermath of an accident. Support for all family members ensures that the patient has a supportive family at home and that family members get the help that they need.

Continue reading "How Truck Accidents in Hollywood and Other Cities Affect Entire Families" »

December 26, 2013

On-the-Job Trucking Accidents: One of the Most Dangerous Jobs in the U.S.

Trucking is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. In fact, safety experts agree that work injuries in Homestead and other communities are disproportionately likely to affect truck drivers when compared with others workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck drivers had the eighth most dangerous job as of 2010, with 682 fatalities in the industry that year.

There are many things that make truck driving such a dangerous occupation:

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1) Truck accidents. Not surprisingly, one of the leading cause of fatalities in the industry is related to traffic accidents. Even though truck drivers are carefully trained and tested to minimize their risk of accidents, truck accidents in Homestead and other communities still occur. In some cases, these collisions are caused by truck driver error and in some cases they are caused by passenger car drivers or other causes.

2) Thin profit margins.
Truck drivers earn about $37,930, on average, and as a result some feel pressure to take on longer hours or longer routes in order to earn more. At the same time, within the industry profit margins are not large, due in part to high overhead and the rising cost of fuel. This means that motor carriers and others in the industry sometimes have financial incentive to cut costs. In some situations, this leads to dangerous situations. For example, if motor carriers try to cut costs by hiring inexperienced drivers, truck and car accidents in Homestead and other communities can be the result. Cutting costs on fleet maintenance can lead to tire blowouts in Homestead and other cities.

3) Difficult hours. Overexertion leads to about 23% of nonfatal injuries in the industry. Long hours and shift work can mean that fatigue plays a role in some truck crashes. Even though federal rules dictate how long truck drivers can be on the road before they must rest, in some cases shift work leads to sleepiness, even when drivers take the required number of rest breaks. In other cases, truck drivers are pressured to take on unsafely long hours in order to make tight deadlines.

4) The size and weight of commercial trucks. Commercial trucks weigh up to 40 tons and travel quickly on highways and roads. In a collision, the size and force of a truck is enough to cause serious injury and fatalities. The size and weight of trucks routinely leads to fatalities, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures, amputations, and other serious and permanent injuries.

5) Health issues. The shift work required of truck drivers, coupled with the sedentary nature of truck driving, can lead to a host of health problems, including obesity, sleep apnea, cardiac issues, and other health problems. On the road, these illnesses can lead to medical emergencies that could cause a truck to careen out of control.

Continue reading "On-the-Job Trucking Accidents: One of the Most Dangerous Jobs in the U.S." »

December 19, 2013

Could Holiday Pressure and Work Conditions Be Contributing to Trucking Accidents in Hollywood and Other Cities?

At this time of year, authorities and law enforcement are especially concerned about truck and car accidents in Hollywood and across the country. Many people who drive vehicles for a living are under pressure at this time of year and according to experts there are many reasons why work conditions at this time of year could contribute to more work accidents in Hollywood involving vehicles:

1) Extra holiday pressure can mean longer hours. Commercial truck drivers have the number of hours they can drive regulated by federal agencies. However, not every employee is regulated in this way. An employer may send out an employee in a company truck, for instance, in order to make a delivery to an important client. And even in the case of commercial truck drivers, some motor carriers may feel pressure to have drivers make deliveries that violate hours of service rules.

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2) The holidays can mean more DUI accidents. Commercial truck drivers are carefully monitored to ensure that they do not drive drunk. There are checks and strong penalties in place to ensure that commercial truck drivers drive sober. However, they may still have to deal with motorists on the road who decide to drink and drive and in some cases even trained commercial drivers may not be able to avoid a DUI accident in Hollywood due to another driver’s recklessness.

3) Deliveries at this time of year can mean tighter deadlines. There is a lot of pressure on truck drivers at this time of year to make more deliveries in a shorter time frame. Customers want purchases delivered and most businesses have holiday specials or events that require deliveries of inventory or other products. All of this can mean more rushing and more pressure, which can lead to fatigue, overwhelm, and preventable mistakes. Unfortunately for truck drivers, their mistakes can lead to serious traffic crashes in Hollywood and other cities.

4) There may be more drivers on the roads. Holiday time means more traffic as more drivers are on the roads trying to take care of holiday shopping and other errands. More traffic combined with tight deadlines can mean a great risk of collisions for big rigs and tractor trailers, especially since these vehicles need more room to turn and park. Due to holiday traffic, some drivers may be less willing to give drivers adequate room, and this can lead to parking lot crashes as well as squeeze play accidents in Hollywood and other Florida towns.

5) There may be more less experienced drivers on the roads. Many businesses hire seasonal drivers and motor carriers also feel pressure to put more drivers on the roads to meet demand. Unfortunately, newly hired drivers may not be familiar with a specific area or specific route and may be more at risk of an accident, especially with the other risks involved at this time of year.

Continue reading "Could Holiday Pressure and Work Conditions Be Contributing to Trucking Accidents in Hollywood and Other Cities?" »

November 28, 2013

Squeeze Play Truck Accidents

Squeeze play truck accidents occur when large commercial trucks have to make a turn right and have to first swing the front of their truck left in order to avoid obstacles and make the right turn. If a vehicle is trapped between the curb and the rig on the left-hand side of the truck, the smaller vehicle can be crushed in what is known as a squeeze play truck accident.

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Unfortunately, squeeze play truck accidents are all too common in Hollywood, Homestead, and other South Florida cities. These Hollywood traffic accidents are especially devastating because fully loaded commercial trucks can be more than 15 times heavier than a passenger vehicle. A smaller car has literally very little chance against a large truck. In these types of accidents, passengers of the smaller car could suffer fatalities, head wounds, spinal cord injury, fractures, paralysis, and other devastating or permanent injuries.

Truck drivers are expected to pass rigorous testing and enroll in extensive classes in order to learn how to avoid accidents. In many cases, squeeze play truck accidents are fully preventable because drivers are supposed to carefully check to make sure that they have enough space to make a safe left turn and they are expected to use additional precautions when they are sharing the road on narrow city streets or in busy areas where there is plenty of other traffic. Despite this, truck drivers may drive distracted, inebriated, or maybe undertrained and not be able to prevent these types of accidents.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Hollywood that involves a truck, it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney in Hollywood or your community can help you understand whether you have a case and the possible value of your case. You may assume that car insurance will cover all of your costs, but insurance companies often try to settle claims for low amounts in order to increase profits for their shareholders. A personal injury attorney can often help find multiple liable parties or can at least negotiate with your insurance carrier to see whether it is possible to get a fairer settlement amount for you. Keep in mind that once you accept insurance money you may have signed away some of your rights to pursue compensation later on. Even if you find out that your injuries end up costing you more than you think, you may have little legal recourse, which is why it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney first.

Continue reading "Squeeze Play Truck Accidents" »

November 26, 2013

How to Avoid Being in a Truck Accident This Holiday Season

Truck accidents in Homestead may be more likely during the holiday season. There are many reasons for this:

•There are more trucks on the road
•There is more traffic of all types on the road
•Trucks are making more deliveries, so they are more often
•Truck drivers are often given unfamiliar routes during the holidays, because people are ordering more things, and this unfamiliarity can lead to accidents
•Truck carriers are hiring temporary drivers for the holidays, and this can lead to less careful screening of employees
•Both truck drivers and passenger car drivers are more distracted because of the busyness of the season
•There can be more DUI accidents during this time of year, due to holiday events
•The days are shorter, and visibility can be a factor

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The good news is that there are ways to prevent holiday-season truck and car accidents in Homestead or your community. According to experts, there are many things you can do:

1) Take good care of yourself. Driving distracted, tired, or unwell can increase the chances that you will be involved in a traffic collision in Homestead or your community. Don't try to do too much during the holiday, and make sure that you get plenty of rest. If you are ill, make sure that you take time away from your holiday schedule and try to rest rather than getting in your car to complete some shopping. Do not try to multitask when driving and avoid driving if you are tired or ill.

2) Make sure your car is ready for the holiday rush. A car that handles correctly is more likely to help you avoid a collision if you need to swerve suddenly or maneuver unexpectedly in order to avoid a crash. Get a tune-up for your car and make sure that it is ready for the driving conditions. For example, if you will be traveling out of state this holiday season, make sure that you have good-quality winter tires for the trip.

3) Be especially aware of trucks on the road. There will be more trucks on the road, and you will want to be aware that these trucks may be stopping or making deliveries more often. When you see trucks around you, make sure that you stay out of their blind spots and give them plenty of room to maneuver.

4) Consider visibility. Avoid driving directly behind large trucks that block your view of the road and take steps to ensure that you can see well, even with the shorter days and rains that can happen in the winter. Make sure your headlights are in good working condition and you have glasses or contact lenses – with a recent prescription – if you need them.

Continue reading "How to Avoid Being in a Truck Accident This Holiday Season" »

November 19, 2013

Burn Injuries Sustained After a Truck Accident Can be Very Traumatic Injuries

Survivors of truck and car accidents in Homestead sustain a number of injuries, including head injuries, amputations, paralysis, disfigurement, and more. One of the most devastating injuries to sustain in any type of traffic accident is a burn injury. Burn injuries can occur if a fuel tank is breached and the fuel inside spills or catches fire. Truck accidents can also lead to burn injuries in Homestead because trucks sometimes carry highly flammable or dangerous materials that can ignite after the force of an accident.

Many people consider burn injuries to be simply disfiguring, but they can be extremely painful as well and can lead to loss of motor skills as well as other catastrophic results. A severe burn can affect not only the top surface layer of skin, but also the muscles underneath -- and even the bones. Severe burn injuries can cause fatalities, permanent injury, disfigurement, and can even lead to paralysis or amputation.

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Burn injuries are also extremely difficult because many people feel self-conscious about their burn injury and the look of the affected skin. In some cases, burn injury patients in South Florida end up experiencing depression or have trouble returning to everyday activities because they cannot cope with the stares, rude comments, and other cruelty from other people.

As if this were not enough, burn injury patients also often face difficulty in getting fair compensation for their injuries. In some cases, medical insurance carriers will claim that skin grafts and other procedures required to treat burn injuries are cosmetic and are not medically required (or covered). In addition, insurance carriers may undervalue the cost of getting treatment for burns. In many cases, burn injuries require multiple treatments over a long period of time, and this can be costly. Sometimes, insurance companies offer money upfront and it is only months later that burn patients find that the money does not cover the full costs of their treatment. Burn injury patients may also need counseling, rehabilitation, and other care in order to recover not only their appearance and self-confidence, but also full mobility.

Before you agree to accept an insurance offer, contact a personal injury attorney in Homestead or your community in order to review your situation carefully. An experienced personal injury attorney who has handled thousands of traffic accident and burn injury cases can help you understand the likely total cost of your injuries and damages. They can also help you understand what your legal options are. If the accident was not caused by you and if there are multiple liable parties or even one large defendant, you may be able to seek compensation that can help you pay for your medical treatments, lost income, and other costs.

Continue reading "Burn Injuries Sustained After a Truck Accident Can be Very Traumatic Injuries" »

November 5, 2013

Head-On Collisions: What are They and Why Are They So Deadly?

Head-on collisions are terrifying and often involve serious injuries, including head injuries, spinal cord trauma, whiplash, internal injuries, and other serious injuries. They also often involve fatalities. These injuries are especially frustrating because they are completely preventable. Head on collisions in Homestead happen when one car enters the oncoming lane. This often happens when someone falls asleep at the wheel because they are driving fatigued or are so distracted that they do not notice that they have changed lanes.

There is no reason for a driver to be entering an oncoming lane, so in head-on collisions, the driver who is in the wrong lane is often considered to be at fault. In many of these cases, the accidents are distracted driving crashes, distracted driving collisions, or drunk driving accidents in Homestead.

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These types of crashes tend to have a very high injury and fatality rate. There are a few reasons for this:

•Speed is often a factor in these accidents
•The driver in the right lane may not be expecting a car headed towards them and may not have time to react
•These crashes often cause the air bags to inflate, and these can cause secondary injury if they are defective in any way
•The force of these crashes is significant
•In many collisions, the two vehicles are different sizes and a smaller car is often severely damaged by a larger vehicle
•In a head-on truck collision, a smaller passenger car may be crushed or pushed under the truck by the force of impact
•The force of these crashes usually impacts the front of the car, where the driver is most affected
•The force of these crashes is enough to cause serious damage to the hood of the car, which can cause fuel leaks and even fire, causing burn injuries and threatening the lives of the passengers

Even though the hood of the car acts as a crumple zone, offering some protection, the high force and impact of these collisions means that many survivors walk away with serious or permanent injury and many passengers sustain fatal injuries as a result of these accidents.

If you have been injured in a head-on collision, it may seem like an open and shut case because the driver who was in the incorrect lane was obviously at fault. However, just because fault is clear, it does not mean that it will be easy to get compensation. There are many reasons why it may be hard to get compensation in these traffic accidents in Homestead:

•The at-fault driver may try to assign blame to other drivers or to circumstances
•An insurance company may undervalue the claim or the injuries
•The other driver may be uninsured or underinsured
•The other driver may be claiming that a product default or manufacturing defect in the car resulted in the accident

Continue reading "Head-On Collisions: What are They and Why Are They So Deadly?" »

October 29, 2013

How Are Truck Accidents And Car Accidents In Hollywood Different?

Commercial truck accidents are very different than passenger car accidents in Hollywood for a number of reasons:

1) There are more likely to be multiple liable parties in commercial truck accidents. In commercial truck accident cases in Hollywood, the truck driver, motor carrier, the person responsible for loading the cargo, the person owning the cargo, the manufacturer of the truck, and anyone who rented or owned the truck can all be liable parties. While a passenger car accident usually involves just the driver and their insurance company, with a commercial truck there may be multiple parties responsible for loading the truck, maintaining it, and getting it on the road. While this can increase the chances that you will get fair compensation if you pursue multiple liable parties, it can also make the case more complex.

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2) Commercial truck accidents usually involve powerful teams of attorneys and strong defendants. Motor carriers are powerful companies in many cases have teams of attorneys to aggressively advocate on their behalf. It can be harder to get fair compensation in these situations since there's often a lot of finger-pointing involved.

3) The injuries sustained in commercial truck accidents are more likely to be devastating. Head injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures, amputations, paralysis, and fatalities are the common result of big rig and tractor trailer crashes. The larger size of the vehicles creates more force in an impact accident, and this leads to more serious injuries – as well as greater suffering and greater medical costs for the victims.

4) It may be harder for victims to get fair compensation in some truck accident cases. Many survivors in a traffic accident in Hollywood assume that car insurance companies will take care of all the costs of their injuries. However, the high costs associated with these accidents as well as the power of the defendants often means that motor carriers and their insurance companies will take steps to reduce their liability and the amount of money that they need to pay. Defendants and their insurance companies may move to reduce the costs of the damages to them, and this can make it harder for victims to get fair compensation. It is one of the key reasons why many accident survivors turn to personal injury attorneys in order to fight for their rights.

5) Commercial truck drivers and motor carriers are subject to many federal and state laws. If these rules have been violated, there may be criminal charges and in some cases accident survivors can use this to agitate for fairer compensation.

6) The victim in the car accident is more likely to be blamed in these types of accidents. Even if a truck driver was speeding or otherwise contributed to the accident, it can be easier to accuse the driver of the car, who after all has less experience and training than a commercial truck driver. If you have been accused of causing an accident, it can be even harder to get compensation and you may need to work with a personal injury attorney to get answers and compensation.

Continue reading "How Are Truck Accidents And Car Accidents In Hollywood Different?" »

October 22, 2013

Poor Maintenance Can be an Issue with Moving Trucks and Can Lead to trucking Accidents in Hollywood

Moving truck companies lease trucks to do-it-yourselfers who want to move themselves. Many people are eager to hire trucks for their move as it can save a lot of money when compared with professional movers and moving companies. Being able to pack yourself also provides you with more freedom and allows you to be sure that you pack everything safely and securely.

Unfortunately, a number of investigative journalism pieces and a number of consumer complaints have revealed that some moving truck companies and truck rental companies are negligent when it comes to providing safe and correctly maintained trucks. In legal claims, victims who have been injured in truck accidents in Hollywood and other communities have claimed that truck companies purposely failed to maintain their trucks, failed to respond to complaints about poor truck maintenance, and even went so far as to switch plates on certain trucks and moved them out-of-state in order to avoid having to perform basic and routine maintenance on trucks that have known issues.

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When a moving truck fails to work correctly, it can mean a lot more than just a delay on moving day. In some cases, people have dealt with failed brakes, tire blowouts, and other serious complications with their trucks, which have led to truck and car accidents in Hollywood and other communities.

Unfortunately, getting help after a serious truck accident involving a rental truck can be very complicated. Trucks companies may claim that the person renting or driving the truck did something to cause the accident and that they are not responsible in any way for the damages. Often, it requires working with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Hollywood or your community in order to get the facts. A personal injury attorney can work with accident reconstruction experts and other experts who can carefully examine the truck in order to determine whether it was incorrectly maintained. If it was, you may have a legal claim against the truck company that can help you pay for additional moving expenses, medical bills, property damage, and more.

Many victims who have been injured in a traffic accident in Homestead don't bother contacting a personal injury attorney because they fear the high cost of legal fees. However, it is important to note that many attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that plaintiffs do not have to pay for legal costs until and unless the attorney gets a settlement or court win on behalf of the client. Some attorneys also have free consultations so that you can learn what the likely costs of your injuries and the likely strength and value of your case might be.

Continue reading "Poor Maintenance Can be an Issue with Moving Trucks and Can Lead to trucking Accidents in Hollywood" »

October 17, 2013

Heavy Trucks Can Be a Danger on the Road

Heavy trucks are a danger on the road in Homestead and across the country. According to the Highway Research Board, one commercial truck of 80,000 pounds does as much damage to roads as approximately 9,600 passenger cars. This is the legal limit for a commercial truck – illegally overweight trucks can cause even more damage.

A study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute concluded that with each ton of truck weight, the risks of a fatality increase. A commercial truck of 80,000 pounds is two times at greater risk of being in a fatal collision when compared with a truck that weighs 50,000 pounds.

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Safety experts agree that heavy trucks can be an extreme danger on the road. Heavy trucks that exceed safety weight limits can be a risk for truck accidents for a number of reasons:

•Overweight trucks put additional pressure on tires, brakes, and other truck systems, increasing the risk of mechanical failure and car accidents
•Overweight trucks are harder to control and can lead to a driver losing control of the vehicle
•Overweight trucks are at an increased risk of rollovers
•Overweight trucks put extra pressure and damage on the roads, which can lead to potholes that can lead to secondary car accidents
•Overweight trucks may have cargo that is incorrectly secured, which can lead to falling debris from trucks and secondary car accidents

There are a number of rules and laws in place to ensure that trucks adhere to maximum cargo loads. In addition to the paperwork required for every truck and in addition to the laws regulating cargo, truck drivers also have to pass by scales and get their trucks weighed in order to ensure that they are not exceeding maximum capacity. Despite all of these precautions, however, overweight trucks continue to drive on the roads and continue to cause traffic accidents in Homestead and other communities.

There is actually a financial incentive for motor carriers and drivers to exceed weight limits. Having one overweight truck on the road saves motor companies money because they do not have to hire additional trucks and drivers to carry the excess cargo. Exceeding weight limits can also save time as it allows drivers to head to one destination without having to wait for an additional truck.

Because of the financial incentives, motor carriers and drivers sometimes use unethical and illegal measures in order to avoid the law. They may drive along back roads in order to avoid weight stations, for example, or they may falsify information and documents about the cargo in order to make it appear that they are carrying less cargo than they actually are.

Continue reading "Heavy Trucks Can Be a Danger on the Road " »

October 15, 2013

Insurance Disputes Are Common After A Truck Accident In Hollywood

If you have been in a truck or car accident in Hollywood, you may assume that your car accident insurance policy will help cover you. After all, you probably spend considerable amounts of money paying your premiums. Unfortunately, many victims find that after a serious truck accident, they have a hard time collecting money from their insurance companies.

Truck accidents in Hollywood often lead to devastating and even permanent injuries. In these cases, it can be difficult for victims to get fair compensation just by consulting with their insurance companies and without working with a personal injury attorney in Hollywood or their community. The high costs of these injuries can mean that insurance companies try to resolve the claims for less than the full value of the claim. Quite simply, insurance companies are in the business of making money and large claim amounts are costly to these companies.

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There are many reasons for insurance disputes after a truck accident:

•Insurance companies may undervalue the damages and injuries
•Insurance companies may fear the very high cost of the injuries and may allege that the injured party was not as seriously injured as they indicated
•Insurance companies may allege that the claim is fraudulent
•Insurance companies may claim that the injuries are not covered by the insurance policy
•Insurance company may claim that the policy is invalid for some reason
•Insurance companies may delay paying the claim amount for another reason
•Health insurance companies may allege that some injuries are the result of a pre-existing medical condition

When you are in a serious accident and you are an insurance policyholder, of course you expect your insurance company to honor your policy. When this does not occur, it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney in your community. You may have an insurance dispute claim in Hollywood or your community if your insurance company is not acting in good faith.

Even if your insurance company has made an offer, it is difficult to know whether they are undervaluing your injuries and damages without speaking with a personal injury attorney. Attorneys who have been working in the legal system for decades understand exactly how much typical injuries cost and can help you see exactly how much in lost wages you can expect to see with a specific injury as well as how many medical bills may mount up as a result of your injuries. This can help you evaluate your insurance company offers and can help you make the right decision when it comes to your future.

Continue reading "Insurance Disputes Are Common After A Truck Accident In Hollywood" »

October 8, 2013

Mechanical Failures That Can Lead to Trucking Accidents

According to research, many truck accidents are caused by driver error. However, a significant number of trucking accidents in Hollywood and across South Florida are also caused by mechanical failures and mechanical problems. These problems can include:

•Oil leaks and air leaks
•Brake defects
•Tire defects and tire blowouts
•Suspension defects
•Structural integrity problems
•Failed wheel bearings
•Engine problems
•Cabin electrical wiring problems
•Trailer refrigeration equipment failure

In fact, any system in the truck can fail and this can easily lead to an accident. Certain truck systems – such as the brakes and tires – are especially vulnerable to failure since the size and weight of trucks places extra pressure on these systems.

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There are many reasons why mechanical failures happen on trucks. In some cases, they occur due to manufacture defects. A truck component or truck systems may simply be defective in design or manufacture, leading it to fail on the road. In many cases, however, negligence in maintaining the vehicle leads to mechanical problems and structural issues that lead to an accident. Both the motor carrier and truck drivers are expected to maintain trucks, but sometimes fail to do so due to time constraints or concerns about costs.

In some cases, mechanical failure is caused by secondary causes that lead to the problem. For example, tires may be stored for too long in a hot warehouse, causing the rubber to become compromised and fail. A very common cause of mechanical failure is overburdening the truck with excess weight above the allowed limits. When a truck is burdened with too much weight, this can place extra pressure on the tires and brakes and can cause them to overheat and fail.

If you have been in a truck accident or traffic accident in Hollywood, how can you know what has caused your accident? In many cases, it is difficult to know without a thorough investigation. If you speak with a personal injury attorney in Hollywood or your community, your attorney can launch an investigation in order to determine exactly what happened. This may help uncover multiple liable parties in your case. For example, you may have a product liability case if it is found that a truck system was defective in some way. If the truck company or motor carrier was negligent in properly maintaining the vehicle, you may be able to pursue the motor carrier for their negligence. There may be multiple causes, including mechanical failure, behind the truck accidents, and exploring all options is important if you wish to pursue justice in your case.

Continue reading "Mechanical Failures That Can Lead to Trucking Accidents" »

October 3, 2013

What Can Passenger Car Drivers Learn from Truck Drivers to Stay Safer?

Truck drivers, although they have a very dangerous job, are less likely than passenger car drivers to cause car and traffic accidents, according to a number of studies. In fact, according to researchers, passenger car drivers are more likely to be the at-fault driver in any car accident involving a truck and car.

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What do truck drivers know that helps them prevent accidents? They tend to understand that:

1) Treat driving like a job. Many motorists feel casual and overconfident about driving. They feel that they can multitask while driving or think that they can casually get from point A to point B with no problems. Truck drivers, on the other hand, treat driving like a job, because it is one. They approach it like professionals because they understand that a casual attitude can lead to traffic accidents in Hollywood and other communities.

2) Stay accountable. Commercial truck drivers are expected to stay accountable, thanks to federal and state laws and guidelines. They need to make sure that they check their cargo, tires, and truck before every drive, for example, and they are subject to medical tests and other random checks. They must also keep a travel log and note any problems as well as total hours driven. These rules tend to ensure that truck drivers stay aware of their driving time, vehicle, and other issues. Passenger car drivers may reduce their risk of a truck or car accident in Hollywood or their community by staying more accountable and by being more aware of their driving habits, their car, and their driving skills.

3) Your vehicle counts. It’s hard to prevent a collision if your car does not respond the way you expect it to. Truck drivers check their vehicles before each drive and have teams of professionals to maintain the trucks to keep them in good working order. Truck carriers replace their fleets periodically as well. Of course, tire blowouts and other issues still happen in Hollywood and other communities, but many are prevented with careful maintenance. You can help reduce your own risk of a crash by keeping your car in good shape and by getting maintenance regularly. Walking around your car before you hop in and checking to make sure that all seems well can also help.

4) Fatigued driving and distracted driving are fatal. Many car and truck accidents in Hollywood and across the country are caused by people falling asleep at the wheel and by drivers who are so tired that their response times are affected. Truck drivers are not allowed to text and drive by federal law and must take specific rest breaks when driving. Passenger car drivers can also reduce the risks of fatigued driving and distracted driving. Even though texting while driving is not banned in Florida, simply put always your mobile devices before stepping in the car. Get adequate sleep before driving and if you feel tired or ill, take another method of transportation rather than risking a car crash.

5) More training is important. Commercial truck drivers must pass much more rigorous testing and training before getting their license. Many car drivers, on the other hand, spend only ten hours of in-car driving, some classroom training and go through a testing process when they get their driver’s license. There is no re-testing or re-training, even if the driver’s mobility or health changes. Many drivers, however, can benefit from additional training or additional courses.

Continue reading "What Can Passenger Car Drivers Learn from Truck Drivers to Stay Safer?" »

October 1, 2013

Daydreaming May Be A Major Cause of Car and Truck Accidents in Homestead and Other Cities – But it is Really Hard to Do Anything About it

The Erie Insurance Group took a look at more than 65 000 fatal traffic accidents that took place between 2010 and 2011. The study found that about 62% of the one in ten accidents attributed to distracted driving were linked to daydreaming. Researchers concluded that this meant that daydreaming was five times more often linked to collisions than mobile devices.

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Daydreaming is a problem for a number of reasons:

•Drivers may not be aware that they are doing it
•Daydreaming removes focus from driving, making drivers miss important information right in front of them
•There is no way to legislate against daydreaming to keep roads safer
•Drivers are not often aware of the dangers of daydreaming
•Daydreaming means that drivers are sometimes so distracted that they cannot remember entire parts of their drive

According to experts, there are several things that can be done to prevent collisions caused by distracted driving:

1) Get plenty of rest before driving. Feeling tired can be dangerous and can make it harder to focus, making it harder to avoid daydreaming. Fatigued driving has also been linked to many traffic accidents in Homestead across the country, which is another good reason to get plenty of rest before you drive.

2) Consider the possible next moves of drivers and pedestrians around you. If you don’t occupy your mind with driving, it’s all too easy to start thinking of something else, losing focus. Planning ahead and thinking three moves ahead will ensure you are thinking about driving – not something that distracts you.


3) Keep your eyes moving
. Studies have shown that keeping your eyes in one place allows you to miss more visual cues, which can lead to a pedestrian accident or another type of traffic accident.

4) Be aware of the dangers of daydreaming. Many people see it is a harmless activity but the recent study does suggest just how dangerous it can be. Knowing the danger and catching yourself if you find your mind wandering can make a big difference.

5) Change up your routine and daily drive. Taking the same route can make it easier for your mind to wander, since you may be so familiar and bored with the usual scenery.

6) Chew something, especially something brittle or crunchy. Some studies have suggested that this can help curb daydreaming and loss of focus.

7) Take frequent breaks on longer drives. Longer drives are a challenge because it is difficult to focus on the road and on your driving when you have been sitting in the car and trying to focus for long periods of time. Taking breaks allows you to stretch, relax, and even eat or drink something so that you can start on the next leg of your journey feeling refreshed.

8) If you have trouble with daydreaming, set up a system to catch yourself before you lose focus. For example, you might want to check in with yourself at every stop sign or traffic light to see whether you have been daydreaming or you may want to check in at the end of every song on the radio. If you find yourself daydreaming, bring your focus back to driving.

Of course, commercial truck drivers may need to work even harder to stay aware of the risks of daydreaming. They are on the road all day, in some cases, and this can make it easier to daydream or lose focus. Staying completely focused over a long drive is especially difficult because focus takes a lot of mental agility. Drivers who daydream and otherwise allow themselves to get distracted are at greater risk of trucking accidents in Homestead and other communities.

Continue reading "Daydreaming May Be A Major Cause of Car and Truck Accidents in Homestead and Other Cities – But it is Really Hard to Do Anything About it" »

August 24, 2013

Have You Suffered an Amputation After a Truck Accident in Homestead or Another Florida City?

Truck accidents in Homestead and other Florida cities cause a range of serious injuries. One of the most devastating tends to be an amputation. In cases of a serious traffic accident in Homestead or another community, firefighters and other emergency personnel sometimes need to amputate a limb in order to extract a survivor out of the wreckage of a car or truck. In addition, the impact of a car accident in Homestead or another city may simply cause enough damage to limbs that an amputation is needed to save the life of the patient.

Amputations cause devastating and lifelong injury to a patient. Patients who have this procedure may face additional risks and complications, including the risk of infection and other life-threatening conditions. In addition, amputations are expensive and require expense of prosthetics for the patient. Prosthetics often cost more than patients realize. These medical devices are always improving and patients need to update them regularly. In addition, a patient may need multiple prosthetics for different tasks. The cost of replacing multiple prosthetics over a lifetime can be very high, especially considering that newer, better prosthetics will be more expensive.

Amputations can change a patient's entire life in the blink of an eye. Patients who have undergone amputations in Homestead and other cities often report feeling depressed, angry, and unable to return to life as they knew it before their accident. In some cases, patients are unable to carry on with their regular career or work and face financial devastation as a result.

If you have suffered an amputation as a result of a truck or car accident in Homestead or any Florida city, it is important to get as much support as possible. In addition to getting medical treatment at a hospital and through your physician, you may want to seek out a support group, counselors, or a therapist in order to deal with the devastating emotional loss.

It is also very important to protect your legal and financial rights. An amputation can have a devastating impact on your finances. The initial emergency surgery coupled with the high cost of prosthetics, coupled with income loss and the income devastation that an amputation can cause can all add up to substantial financial pressure. Speak with a personal injury attorney in Homestead or your community to find out about your options for pursuing fair compensation. Fair compensation can help pay for quality prosthetics and a lifetime of medical care as well as replacement for lost income.

Continue reading "Have You Suffered an Amputation After a Truck Accident in Homestead or Another Florida City?" »

August 22, 2013

Are Lighter Trucks a Concern When it Comes to Truck Crashes in Hollywood and Other Florida Cities?

The NAFA Fleet Management Association has sent information to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, citing concern about studies for lighter single-unit trucks. According to a recent NTSB study, lighter trucks account for 9% of the nation’s accidents, even though they account for only 4% of vehicle mileage and 3% of vehicles.

The study also raised concerns about the fact that light trucks may be overlooked because inspectors do not always identify them correctly. According to federal regulators, lighter single-unit trucks carry up to 10 000 pounds and do not have trailers. While these can seem less daunting than tractor-trailers, however, they are still much larger than passenger cars and can cause traffic accidents in Hollywood and across the country. Lighter trucks are also subject to fewer regulations and can still carry dangerous substances, making them dangerous in car accidents in Hollywood and other cities.

According to the NAFA Fleet Management Association, the NTSB study had a few issues. The main one was that study did not distinguish between unmanaged and managed fleets of light trucks. Although light truck drivers do not need a commercial truck license, NAFA argues that managed fleets have more training and supervision of drivers and have better safety records. Another issue was that NAFA and its members were not included in the study of light trucks.

The NTSB suggested that more studies need to be done to consider whether stricter licensing is required for light trucks. The study’s authors also suggested that light trucks should have more safety features shared by larger commercial trucks. For example, the NTSB recommended under-ride guards to prevent under-ride accidents in Hollywood and other communities as well as reflective surfaces on truck corners.

What do you think? Do you think that lighter trucks should be regulated more closely? Although these trucks are smaller, they can still cause truck collisions in Hollywood and other cities. They are also still larger and may be more prone to rollovers and tire blowouts when compared with smaller vehicles. All trucks, even smaller trucks, have more blind spots and can be more awkward to navigate in traffic. In the news headlines, larger commercial trucks usually grab the spotlight, in part because the accidents involving these vehicles are so dramatic. However, even smaller vehicles can cause catastrophic injury and fatalities. Accidents involving lighter trucks can still cause head injuries, amputations, spinal cord injuries, burns, fractures, concussions, and many other serious injuries.

Continue reading "Are Lighter Trucks a Concern When it Comes to Truck Crashes in Hollywood and Other Florida Cities?" »

August 14, 2013

Have You Been Injured in a Fire Truck Crash in Hollywood or Another Florida City?

Fire trucks race to emergencies and fires to save lives, but unfortunately these vehicles can also be a risk on the roads. Each year, about 2,000 fire truck accidents occur nationwide, leading to about 1000 injuries, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Although fire trucks tend to drive fewer miles than passenger cars, their heavy weight and high speeds can put them at risk of collisions. Many factors can lead to fire truck collisions in Hollywood and other Florida cities:

•Speeding. Fire trucks are legally allowed to speed and drive through red lights when they are driving to an emergency with their lights and sirens on. However, the high speeds and weaving around traffic can be dangerous and can lead to car accidents in Hollywood and other cities.

•Other traffic. All traffic is expected to yield right of way to any emergency vehicle driving with lights and sirens on, but some pedestrians, motorists, and others do not get out of the way of a truck, leading to accidents. In fact, according to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), the most common cause of fire truck crashes is motorists’ failure to yield.

•Equipment problems. In some cases, mechanical failure – including brake failure or tire blowouts – can lead to a fire truck collisions.

•Driver fatigue. Drivers are sometimes called out to emergencies in the middle of the night, and may be fatigued enough that they make mistakes leading to an accident.

•Obstructions on the road or poor road conditions. In some cases, fire trucks need to drive through rough roads, unpaved roads, or through construction areas in order to get to an emergency. These more dangerous conditions can be a contributing factor to any traffic accident.

•Weather. Weather can cause a range of traffic collisions in Hollywood and other Florida cities. For a fire truck, slick roads or heavy rains can be an added problem since fire trucks are already so heavy and can tip over or crash when racing through bad weather to get to an accident or fire.

•Driver inexperience. Fire truck drivers need added experience driving, since their on-road experiences are so different than other motorists. Fire truck drivers need to be able to speed safely and get to an emergency in a very short amount of time – without crashing. Fire trucks also have a considerable weight and many types of lifesaving equipment that fire truck drivers need to be familiar with.

According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), car accidents are the second most common cause of fatalities for firefighters. One of the best things that drivers can do to help prevent car collisions in Hollywood involving fire trucks is to pull over immediately when they hear a siren and see a fire truck.

Continue reading "Have You Been Injured in a Fire Truck Crash in Hollywood or Another Florida City?" »

July 25, 2013

New Fire Truck Simulator May Help Prevent Trucking Accidents in Coral Springs

Coral Springs firefighters have access to a new fire truck simulator for training, and some local authorities say that the new technology may help prevent truck and car accidents in Coral Springs and surrounding areas. The Coral Springs Fire Department has purchased the simulator to make training easier for firefighters and drivers. The department already has one simulator and has added another mobile simulator to make training more accessible.

The new technology will help firefighters train in conditions that mimic pouring rain and heavy traffic as well as other conditions which are difficult to recreate on demand during traditional driver training. In addition, the simulator will help firefighters train in extreme conditions as well, since the simulator can mimic city traffic after a plane crash and other unique situations.

Why Fire Truck Accidents Take Place

According to local experts, the simulator is important because driving is an important part of the equation when firefighters respond to emergency calls. Long before they can arrive at the scene to save lives and prevent serious burn injuries in Coral Springs, firefighters must rush through city streets to arrive at the destination. The bulkiness of fire trucks, coupled with the high speed of travel can lead to accidents.

Firefighting trucks carry not only emergency help, but also considerable equipment. Like all large trucks, they have multiple blind spots and are quite heavy. Navigating these trucks through Coral Springs streets is difficult. While traffic and pedestrians are supposed to get out of the way of fire trucks rushing to an emergency, not all drivers obey this rule. As a result of this problem and as a result of driver error, fire truck accidents in Coral Springs do occur. When they do occur, serious injury is the common result. In addition, if the fire truck is delayed there may be secondary injuries if the people needing emergency help do not receive assistance in time due to a traffic accident delay.

Preventing Fire Truck Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, each year across the US about 2000 fire truck accidents take place. These can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities. The Coral Springs fire department hopes to avoid these types of fire truck accidents in Coral Springs by providing the simulator and additional training. The fire department is also the only South Florida department to buy a mobile driving simulator. This will allow the fire department to share the technology to hopefully prevent traffic accidents in other communities as well.

Simulators have been show to prevent traffic accidents by providing additional driver training, according to the Coral Springs fire department. The department also believes that the new purchase is a cost-effective one, since additional training may help the department prevent injuries to fire department vehicles and equipment.

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July 13, 2013

Single-Unit Trucks are also Responsible for Truck Accidents in Homestead and other Communities

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recently completed a study about the safety of single unit trucks. These trucks have a weight rating of at least 10,000 pounds but do not have detachable cargo units. Single unit trucks also have axles attached to one frame. These trucks are not subject to all the same safety rules that the federal government applies to tractor-trailers. Nevertheless, 10,000 pounds or more of a single unit truck can still cause a serious truck accident in Homestead or anywhere in the country and can still pose a higher risk than a passenger vehicle due to its size and force.

The NTSB examined single unit truck accident collision data from hospital reports, state records, police reports, case reviews, and federal databases dating from 2005 to 2009. According to the NTSB, about 1800 fatalities across the country each year are attributable to single unit truck collisions. As well, thousands of injuries can be related each year to these types of vehicles.

The study concluded that single unit trucks are part of a “disproportionate number” of multivehicle collisions as well as passenger vehicle fatalities. Each year, these trucks cause permanent injuries, including head injuries in Homestead and other communities across the nation.

As a part of the study, the NTSB recommended that safety rules be changed so that single unit trucks have some of the same federal rules apply to them as tractor-trailers. Specifically, the agency would like to see single unit trucks have rear underride guards as well as safety features that would improve visibility. Single unit truck still have large blind spots, and the agency would like to see additional measures taken to prevent car accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents involving these types of larger trucks. In addition, the agency recommended changing the classification of these trucks, arguing that currently the truck classification for single unit trucks leads to underreporting of accidents involving these vehicles. Finally, the NTSB recommended driver license changes which would require drivers of single unit trucks to have to face some of the same requirements as commercial tractor-trailer truck drivers.

Single unit truck accidents lead to car accidents in Homestead as well as other communities, and according to safety experts and government agencies more can be done to prevent these types of accidents. Tractor-trailers are recognized as potential dangers on the road and a number of federal safety standards have been passed to ensure that drivers and motor carriers of larger trucks must adhere to certain safety standards. However, experts agree that more needs to be done to prevent traffic accidents in Homestead and across the country related to smaller commercial trucks.

Continue reading "Single-Unit Trucks are also Responsible for Truck Accidents in Homestead and other Communities " »

July 10, 2013

Avoid Road Trip Truck Accidents in Miami Beach and Other Communities

During the summer, many families head out to Miami Beach and other Florida communities for a road trip. Southern Florida is an ideal place for this type of trip, since the coast is beautiful and the entire area is filled with unique communities and tourist attractions to explore. If you are headed to the area, you will want to take steps to ensure that a car or truck accident in Miami Beach or another community does not ruin your vacation:

1) Plan your trip carefully. A successful trip is a well-planned trip. You do not want to risk a rear-end accident in Miami Beach or another community because you are making frequent stops because you are lost. Plan your route and map your route before you go. Decide where you will stop and mark rest stops, restaurants, and hotels on your way so that you know where you can stop. Check road conditions and weather conditions before you go as well, so that you are prepared.

2) Take frequent breaks. Driving too long is unpleasant and can make you tired, which can cause you to make mistakes that can lead to a collision. Schedule regular stops into your trip and use these to drink water, get a snack, and stretch your legs.

3) Carefully consider your car before going on your trip. Make sure that it is in good mechanical condition and ready to drive. If you are sharing the road with commercial trucks, especially, you may need to make sudden maneuvers to avoid a crash. Make sure your car can handle various driving conditions.

4) Assign a co-pilot. If possible, travel with someone who can check maps, look out for road signs, and handle any mobile devices. This way, you can put your entire focus on driving. Many traffic accidents in Miami Beach and across the country are caused by distraction, and you can help prevent this type of accident by having another passenger take care of everything but driving, so that you can concentrate on the road.

5) Take turns driving. If possible, have someone else drive some of the time. This will allow you to see more and will help prevent fatigue and distraction behind the wheel, keeping you safer on the road.

6) Prepare yourself physically for the trip. Driving is physically and mentally tiring. Before your trip, get a good night’s rest and be sure that you are physically in good condition and well-nourished. Eat healthy snacks and drink plenty of water on the trip. Try to get a little exercise when you make stops.

7) Avoid road dangers. Do not drink and drive or try to drive when you are sleepy. Avoid trying to use your mobile phone as you drive. When on the highways, especially, even minor distractions can lead to a disastrous collision.

Continue reading "Avoid Road Trip Truck Accidents in Miami Beach and Other Communities" »

June 27, 2013

Moving This Summer? Follow These Steps to Prevent a Traffic Accident in Miami or Your Community

Many families take advantage of the summer to move. In addition, many college students move to new apartments or move into student housing during the summer and fall months. Moves can pose a number of hazards, the most significant being the risk that families run by renting large moving trucks. Truck rental companies are responsible for maintaining their fleets, but each year people are injured in serious moving truck accidents in Miami and other Florida cities. You can avoid these by following these tips:

1) Consider movers. If you are moving a great deal of furniture and many possessions, movers may be a safer option. Most drivers are simply not trained to drive large trucks and run the risk of causing a serious car accident in Miami or their community by trying to operate a heavy truck on moving day. Large moving trucks are heavy and have many blind spots. In addition, driving this sort of truck requires you to consider clearance under bridges, shifting cargo, and other issues you do not need to worry about with a car. If budget is an issue, compare several movers or consider do-it-yourself or self-service movers. These types of movers will drop off a storage container at your home and leave it so that you can load the container. A professional driver will then drive the container to your new destination and you will be responsible for unloading. Since you do much of the hard work yourself, this costs less than hiring movers but still ensures you do not have to drive a large truck.

2) If you do decide to rent a truck, take some precautions. Choose a truck that is about 10% larger than what you will need, so that you do not overload the truck. Compare the safety records and reviews of several rental companies. Visit the companies in person and ask for a demonstration of the truck and its safety features. You should not rent a truck until you have gotten some training in how to use it. Before your move, take the truck to a mechanic for a once-over. This way, if the truck is in poor condition and puts you at risk of a traffic accident in Miami or at your destination, you can return it to the rental company and ask for another truck before you start loading your possessions.

3) Stay organized. Pack well in advance of your moving day, taking care to keep boxes well out of walking areas. Keep in mind that trip and fall and slip and fall accidents in Miami and other cities are very common on moving day. You can generally avoid them by staying organized and keeping walkways clear.

4) Pack your cargo carefully. Distribute weight evenly over the truck and tie down boxes and furnishings so that they do not shift as you drive. Ask your rental company for loading and packing tips. In addition, consider renting dollies so that it is easier for you to load the truck without hurting your back.

5) Give yourself plenty of time. Moving day should be as unrushed as possible. Rushing around increases the risk of an accident. Check and double-check as you go. For example, when backing up in your rental truck, be sure to check blind spots carefully to prevent any back over accidents.

Continue reading "Moving This Summer? Follow These Steps to Prevent a Traffic Accident in Miami or Your Community " »

June 14, 2013

Passenger Car Drivers Have a Key Role to Play in Preventing Distraction-Related Truck Accidents in Fort Lauderdale and Other Cities

When car and truck accidents in Fort Lauderdale and other cities occur, passenger car occupants are usually the ones injured due to the size difference between the two types of vehicles. While in some cases truck drivers cause the accident, distracted passenger car drivers are a major contributor to both truck and car accidents in Fort Lauderdale and across the state. While truck drivers are subject to strict federal rules designed to prevent fatigued driving, passenger car drivers have far fewer rules to follow. This means that passenger car drivers must take responsibility to prevent collisions. According to experts, there are several things that passenger car drivers can do to curb distracted driving:

1) Adjust car systems before driving or ask a passenger for help. It is a good idea to use a pre-programmed playlist on an MP3 player on a longer drive or to rely on pre-programmed radio stations, since changing a CD can be very dangerous on the road. In addition to music, A/C, mirrors, and other basic items should be changed or adjusted before starting the car – not on the road.

2) Mobile devices should be off when driving. Much has been written about distracted driving and cell phones. While commercial truck drivers are banned from texting and driving, Florida drivers of passenger cars do not face the same ban. Despite this, the road is safer for everyone when all drivers focus on the road rather than their cell phone. Turn the cell phone off before hopping in the car so that you will not be tempted to check the device. Studies have shown that talking or texting while talking does contribute to traffic accidents in Fort Lauderdale and other US cities. Research has also suggested that hands-free devices are not entirely safe, either, as they remove a driver’s focus from the road. The best practice, experts agree, is to leave mobile devices off entirely when driving.

3) Set rules for passengers. Conversations with other passengers can be very distracting. In fact, studies have shown that teen drivers, in particular, significantly increase their risk of a car accident with every passenger in the car with them. For adult drivers, children and pets can be a significant distraction. For this reason, it is a good idea to distract children with child-appropriate car games and to set rules for car rides. Pets should be placed in kennels or carriers for every car ride.

4) Do not eat or drink while driving. While many people know that drinking and driving accidents in Fort Lauderdale are a serious concern, many do not realize that safety experts consider drinking coffee (or any beverage) while driving to be very dangerous as well. Eating and drinking takes your focus off the road and if you spill your food you may be distracted enough to cause a serious collision.

Continue reading "Passenger Car Drivers Have a Key Role to Play in Preventing Distraction-Related Truck Accidents in Fort Lauderdale and Other Cities" »

May 29, 2013

Common Mistakes That Can Lead to a Truck Accident in Miami Gardens and Other Florida Cities

A few common mistakes that drivers make tend to cause a significant portion of car and truck accidents in Miami Gardens and other Florida communities. These mistakes are:

1) Cars overtaking a truck on the left where there are two lanes. This commonly occurs on merge lanes and in situations where merge lanes end. In some cases, a car will try to pass the truck, only to have the truck sideswipe the vehicle because the truck driver cannot see the smaller car.

2) Speeding. Trucks take longer to slow down and stop when compared with passenger cars, so when cars speed around commercial trucks collisions can easily happen. When trucks speed, they can rollover and when speeding truck drivers can lose control of the vehicle. When cars speed, they can cause serious collisions with other vehicles on the road.

3) Not being in mental or physical shape to drive. Driving is one of the most tasking thing most of us do every day. Being ill, tired, distracted, inebriated, or otherwise unable to drive can result in a collision. To prevent truck and car accidents in Miami Gardens and across the country, there are federal rules governing truck drivers. For example, truck drivers must get specific amounts of rest, are subject to drug and health checks, and must not text while driving. The rules are far less strict for passenger car drivers. Nevertheless, both passenger car and truck drivers have a responsibility to prevent drunk driving accidents in Miami Gardens and other communities as well as other types of preventable accidents caused by fatigue, distraction, and other issues.

4) Following too closely. Trucks take extra time to stop, so following a truck too closely or being followed too closely by a truck can lead to collisions. When trucks follow passenger cars too closely, for example, override accidents in Miami Gardens and other communities are a common result. When the passenger can has to stop suddenly, the truck often cannot stop in time, resulting in an override. When cars tailgate trucks, the bulk of the truck hampers visibility and if the truck has to make a sudden stop, a rear-end collision in the likely result.

5) Not following traffic laws. Some drivers take shortcuts, running the occasional stop sign or not signaling properly. The traffic laws, lights, and signs are there for a reason. Ignoring them, even occasionally, dramatically increases the risk of an accident.

Continue reading "Common Mistakes That Can Lead to a Truck Accident in Miami Gardens and Other Florida Cities" »

May 16, 2013

The Dangers of Fuel Truck Accidents in Miami and Other Florida Communities

Fuel trucks carry fuel to homes, businesses, and to and from industrial sites every day. When these trucks are involved in truck accidents in Miami and other communities, however, the results can be catastrophic. Fuel is often highly combustible and unstable, increasing the likelihood of a fire. Tanker trucks containing fuel also more subject to rollovers and other accidents because the cargo is less stable. The devastation of these types of traffic accidents in Miami and other communities can be catastrophic:

1) Fuel truck accidents can lead to fires and explosions. While fuel tanker trucks are especially secured to protect against fires and damage, in a rollover or other type of truck or car accident in Miami, a fuel truck can spill its cargo, can explode, or can cause a serious fire. While a simple leak and spark alone are not usually enough to cause a fuel fire, when fires do occur they can be devastating. Fuel trucks can carry 100 gallons of fuel, and this is enough to cause a serious explosion or serious fire that can cause devastating damage to everyone in the area. The high heat and the extreme nature the fire can make it difficult for firefighting professionals to approach the scene immediately, meaning that it can be hard to extinguish this type of fire right away.

2) Fuel truck accidents often lead to secondary accidents. Truck accidents that result in fires, explosions, or spills can easily lead to a secondary accident. A tanker truck accident in Miami that causes a spill, for example, can lead to additional car accidents if approaching vehicles do not notice the spill in time. If a fuel truck accident results in a fire, other cars may be involved in collisions as they tried to stay away from the flames.

3) Fuel truck accidents can cause devastation and injury to bystanders and can cause damage to people over a wide radius. Fuel truck accidents, especially if they lead to explosions or fires, can affect people over a wide radius. Nearby homes and businesses may be severely damaged by the blaze, for example, and nearby pedestrians may suffer serious burn injuries or other serious injuries. Homes and businesses in the area may need to be evacuated until the situation is under control.

4) Fuel truck accidents can release toxins. Burning fuel can released dangerous toxins in the air, which can lead to severe injury and illness to bystanders in the area. Children, the elderly, and those with respiratory problems may be especially at risk. In some situations, tankers carry hazardous materials. When these hazardous substances spill or ignite, the results can lead to an environment and health disaster.

Continue reading "The Dangers of Fuel Truck Accidents in Miami and Other Florida Communities " »

May 14, 2013

How Experts Believe Tanker Rollover Truck Accidents in Coral Springs can be Prevented

Tanker trucks are used to transport fuel, water, and other liquids. These trucks are also more prone to rollovers than cars and most commercial trucks. According to the CDC, tanker truck rollovers are the leading cause of traffic accident-related deaths for firefighters. Rollovers are also more likely than other truck accidents to lead to fires and serious injuries for truck drivers. The majority of these accidents can be prevented, according to experts, with just a few changes:

1) Regular tire maintenance. Tires that are incorrectly maintained increase the likelihood of a tire blowout and therefore a rollover. Tanker trucks are typically very hard on tires due to the weight of the cargo. It is therefore important to check tires every day for correct tire pressure and for wear and tear. Tires that are worn down may result in truck accidents in Coral Springs and other communities because worn tires are more likely to malfunction. Worn tires are also more likely to lead to collisions since tires without adequate treads can make it harder for a driver to stop without sliding. Tires that are overinflated or underinflated can also cause a tire blowout or can cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle.

2) Reducing speed. Many rollover accidents in Coral Springs and other communities are caused by excessive speeds. Although tankers can rollover at speeds as low as 5 miles per hour, in most cases these accidents do involve higher speeds. At higher speeds, it is harder for truck drivers to maintain control of their vehicle and taking turns at high speeds, especially, can lead to rollovers and other types of collisions.

3) Adequate training. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that tanker truck drivers get refresher courses at least twice a year and take part in ongoing training. Additional training is important in order to help prevent truck and car accidents in Coral Springs and other communities because tanker truck drivers need to be prepared to deal with shifting cargo and other risky situations on the road. In some cases, motor carriers pay for additional training and refresher courses for drivers. Drivers in many cases can also access training on their own.

4) Weight distribution. Part of the problem with tanker trucks is that the weight of the liquid shifts frequently, and when liquid sloshes up against the sides of the truck, this can cause imbalance in the weight and can increase the risk of a rollover. It is especially important to be very vigilant when tankers are only partially full. Tanker trucks that are only partly full are especially subject rollovers.

Continue reading "How Experts Believe Tanker Rollover Truck Accidents in Coral Springs can be Prevented" »

May 7, 2013

Types of Injuries Commercial Drivers Can Sustain in Truck Crashes in North Miami

In most truck accidents in North Miami and Florida, passengers of the smaller cars involved in the collision are the ones most likely to suffer severe injuries. Each year, car passengers sustain serious tissue injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, and head injuries in North Miami and across Florida due to truck accidents. The size and force of a truck is simply no match for a passenger vehicle, and passengers in smaller cars are likely to bear the brunt of the accident.

However, while truck drivers are more protected by their larger vehicle and by their cabs, truck driver fatalities do occur each year as a result of truck accidents in North Miami and other communities. In fact, long haul truck driving is considered among the more dangerous of professions because truck drivers can and do sustain serious injuries, including spinal cord injuries, burns, and fatalities each year.

According to statistics:

-Close to 600 truck drivers die annually in accidents on highways

-About 55% of all semi-truck accidents in which a driver is killed occur due to rollover accidents

-Driving flatbeds and tankers is considered one of the most dangerous jobs

-About 10% of all semi-truck accidents in which a driver is killed occur due to fuel oil fires

Fires are an especial concern for truck drivers working with tankers. Tankers may travel with 100 gallons of diesel fuel or other flammables, and while these materials are protected and while diesel oil is hard to ignite, when it does happen fatalities are likely. In most cases, diesel oil does not ignite because of a ruptured tank but rather because of a shorting out or damage of the battery box. Once the fuel does catch on fire, explosions can easily occur and in many cases a driver may have only seconds to escape the truck before sustaining life-threatening injury. In cases where a truck is carrying hazardous and flammable materials, a fire can cause wide-spread damage and serious injury to the driver and to many others in the vicinity. Due to the amount of fuel the average tanker carries, a fire involving a truck often burns fast and hot and can quickly get out of control.

Another issue that causes truck accidents and fatalities is rollovers. Commercial trucks are much more prone to rollovers than cars. Half-empty tankers are more prone to rollovers than semis and other large trucks. Speeding, road unevenness, and sharp turns can all increase the odds of a rollover. On slopes and in other higher-risk conditions, rollovers can occur even at speeds of 5 mph. In many cases, a cab does not offer adequate protection for the driver when a rollover occurs in North Miami or another community. In these types of accidents, the truck driver is likely to sustain head injuries and other serious injuries.

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April 30, 2013

New Study Could Suggest That Caffeine May Prevent Some Truck Accidents in Miami Springs and Other Communities

An Australian study published recently in the British Medical Journal found that truck drivers who consumed caffeine were less likely than other motorists to be involved in crashes, even when lack of sleep and other factors were accounted for. The study looked at 530 long distance commercial truck drivers who were involved in a crash between 2008 and 2011 and an additional 517 truck drivers who had not had an accident in the past twelve months. The researchers at The George Institute at the University of Sydney conducted interviews to determine how much caffeine each truck driver consumed as well as the health and demographics of each driver.

According to researchers, 85% of truck drivers who were involved in accidents didn’t consume energy drinks regularly. 78% of truck drivers involved in accidents did not drink any caffeine. However, 51% of truck drivers who did not have an accident in the past year didn’t drink caffeine.

The research is compelling, but could caffeine really help prevent truck accidents in Miami Springs and across Florida? The researchers from the study agree that more research needs to be done about the effects of caffeine on fatigued driving and truck accidents. Most experts also agree that fatigued driving is a leading cause of truck accidents and car accidents in Miami Springs and across the country. Fatigued driving causes many dangerous situations for drivers:

1) Fatigued driving slows response times. According to some research studies, response times of heavily fatigued drivers are similar to those of drunk drivers. However, while there is a great deal of education and a great deal of social pressure not to drink and drive, fatigued driving is just seen as a reality caused by hectic lifestyles. Not all drivers are aware of the risks of driving when sleepy.

2) Fatigued driving increases the risk of driver errors. We are all more likely to make errors when we are tired, but making errors behind the wheel can lead to a serious pedestrian accident in Miami Springs or your community. Drivers who are tired may make obvious errors such as failing to signal, changing lanes without checking for oncoming traffic, ignoring traffic lights, and other major mistakes.

3) Fatigued drivers may fall into micro sleeps. According to sleep disorder experts, when the human body is very tired, it shuts down for very small increments of time – often just seconds or fractions of a second – as it struggles to cope with extreme fatigue. Unfortunately, when this happens behind the wheel of a car, it can cause a serious traffic accident.

4) Fatigued drivers may fall asleep at the wheel. Each year, traffic accidents in Miami Springs and across the country occur because a driver falls asleep behind the wheel of their truck or car and heads into oncoming traffic or another vehicle.

Continue reading "New Study Could Suggest That Caffeine May Prevent Some Truck Accidents in Miami Springs and Other Communities " »

April 18, 2013

Who is Responsible for Truck Accidents in Miami Beach?

Over the past three and a half decades, truck accident fatalities across the country have declined dramatically, but experts say that much still needs to be done to make the roads even safer. According to personal injury attorneys in Miami Beach, one way to reduce the number of truck accidents in Miami Beach and other communities is to pursue those who are responsible or liable for accidents. In many cases, holding liable parties accountable for accidents helps to bring about important safety changes while also securing fair compensation for victims who sustain serious injuries in a collision.

Who is responsible for traffic accidents in Miami Beach and other communities? Traditionally, passenger car drivers have taken the brunt of the blame. According to 2002 research from the AAA, four out of five car crashes involving trucks are caused by passenger car drivers. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported that 87% of all head-on crashes involving commercial trucks were caused by passenger car drivers.
According to experts, there are many reasons why car drivers cause so many crashes:

1) Truck drivers must pass driving tests and written tests to get a license. Getting a commercial driver’s license requires much more practical knowledge and testing. In contrast, getting a driver's license for a passenger vehicle is usually a fairly simple process. In fact, teens and new drivers applying for a driver’s license may need less than a dozen hours of in-car training in some states in order to get a license, and in some cases that instruction does not include one-on-one instruction but rather instruction with a group of other learners. Although experts agree that graduated licensing and increased requirements for driver’s licenses for passenger cars can help reduce the number of car accidents in Miami Beach and across Florida, experts also agree that more must be done to ensure that new drivers get plenty of experience and instruction in order to build good driving habits.

2) Truck drivers in many cases drive over 10 000 miles monthly, making them the more experienced drivers on the road. Passenger car drivers may not drive as much, and this lack of experience can lead to traffic accidents in Miami Beach and across Florida. Lack of experience is one reason why teen drivers have higher crash rates than older drivers, for example.

3) Car drivers do not get ongoing driver education. Most motor carriers offer cash incentives to drivers with good safety records and an interest in more training. Drivers with poor safety records have a harder time finding employment. In contrast, many passenger car drivers only get instruction once – when they apply for their driver’s license. In fact, many drivers on the road in Florida got their driver’s license decades ago, and have not received additional or supplementary training even though traffic laws, traffic conditions, and driving conditions have changed substantially in that time period. Experts agree that ongoing training for drivers as well as refresher courses might help prevent traffic accidents.

Continue reading "Who is Responsible for Truck Accidents in Miami Beach?" »

April 12, 2013

Reducing Road Stress Could Help Reduce Instances of Car and Truck Accidents in Coral Gables

According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, traffic accident injuries and fatalities have dropped over the past few years, largely because unemployment means that fewer people drive to work and there are fewer trucks and shipments on the road. As the economy recovers, there is more road traffic and fewer people using public transport, and that can increase the risk of accidents. In Coral Gables and South Florida, the recovering economy can also mean more tourists and more traffic during certain seasons, which can also increase the risk of collisions.

Added traffic on the roads and less use of public transportation can mean more stress on the roads. At a time when many drivers are driving longer distances in order to take advantage of more job opportunities, especially, driver stress during commutes is a real concern – and can be a cause of car and truck accidents in Coral Gables and other Florida communities. To help protect yourself, make sure that you:

1) Avoid distracted driving. If you suddenly have to drive further to work because of a new job or if you are returning to driving after using public transportation for a while, it may be tempting to find something to do while you drive. However, distracted driving is a key cause of truck and car accidents in Coral Gables and across Florida. When you get behind the wheel of a car, make sure that you can focus fully on the drive.

2) Spread out driving responsibility. If you must drive a lot, consider taking public transport part of the time or carpooling. These options are not only more environmentally friendly and cost conscious, but they can also reduce driver stress, road rage, and the risk of traffic accidents in Coral Gables or your community. When you allow someone else to drive part of the time, you can read a newspaper, focus on your mobile device, or get other tasks done while commuting. Having someone else take care of the driving part of the time also reduces the amount of driver stress you experience and may reduce your risk of a crash.

3) Take care of your health and never drive tired. During the morning commute, especially, fatigue, stress, and illness can be a disastrous combination that can lead to a car collision. When you have to share the road with trucks, especially, you need to stay alert because these larger vehicles take longer to break and stop. If you're tired, unwell, or are not feeling at your best, it is best to take public transport or rely on someone else to drive you to your destination.

Continue reading "Reducing Road Stress Could Help Reduce Instances of Car and Truck Accidents in Coral Gables " »

April 9, 2013

Recovering From Long Term Injuries: Dealing with the Aftereffects of a Truck Collision in Homestead

Truck accidents in Homestead and other South Florida communities cause devastating injuries each year. In many cases, due to the size and force of a truck, truck collisions are more likely than car collisions in Homestead to result in long-term and permanent injury. Some of the more serious injuries caused by truck accidents include:

1) Brain injuries. Brain injuries can occur if a passenger in a vehicle strikes their head against the dashboard or other hard surface during the collision. Head injuries can also occur if a passenger is strongly shaken during the collision, which can cause the brain to crash up against the hard skull surface, causing bleeding and bruising to the brain. Brain injuries can result in memory loss, speech problems, vision loss, unconsciousness, and other serious injuries. Head injuries in Homestead and other South Florida cities can easily become fatal or can cause permanent injury, leaving the victim unable to work.

2) Spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries after a truck accident can leave someone paralyzed, with greatly reduced mobility, or even with fatal injuries. Spinal cord injuries are extremely expensive to treat, and spinal cord injuries in Homestead and other South Florida cities can cost up to $100,000 in the first year of treatment alone.

3) Burn injuries. Burn injuries can be one of the most difficult injuries to sustain in a traffic accident in Homestead. These injuries can cause muscle damage and mobility issues, and may also leave the victim devastated and unable to return to work. These injuries can also cause extreme pain.

All of these permanent injuries can result in long term financial impact as well as loss of mobility and other skills. The immediate emergency medical care and long-term medical care of these injuries can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions of dollars over a lifetime. Patients may require rehabilitation, surgeries, consultations with specialists, and many other types of treatment. The financial impact can be devastating. In addition, most of these injuries will result in loss of wages or even long-term loss of income. Most patients can take months or years to recover from serious injuries after a truck accident. In some cases, patients are unable to return to their jobs because their mobility issues and injuries affect their ability to do their job. In these cases, patients may be either completely unable to work or may be returning to lower paying jobs at the same time as they are facing increased medical bills.

If you have been seriously injured in a truck or car accident in Homestead or another South Florida community, you will want to:

1) Seek professional help. You will want to seek expert medical help to increase the chances that you will recover as fully as possible from your injuries. You also want to consult with a personal injury attorney in Homestead or your community in order to get professional legal advice to protect your finances and your future.

2) Seek counseling and emotional support. Being in a traffic accident in Homestead can be a devastating experience. Seeking the help of a support group, counselor, or other resources can help you deal with the emotional impact and can help you find the resources you need to heal.

3) Seek compensation. In many cases, the financial impact of a serious accident can last for years. If your accident was caused by someone's negligence, you have the legal right in Florida to seek compensation to help reduce the financial devastation of your accident.

Continue reading "Recovering From Long Term Injuries: Dealing with the Aftereffects of a Truck Collision in Homestead" »

April 4, 2013

Jackknife Truck Accidents in South Miami and Other Florida Cities

Jackknife truck accidents occur when the tractor and the trailer of a commercial truck form an “L” or “V” shape because the two components fall out of sync with each other. These types of truck accidents are often caused by:

1) Bad weather. Bad weather – such as slippery roads – can cause truck drivers to lose control of their car. In many cases, this can cause a car or truck accident in South Miami or another Florida city. The size and force of a commercial truck is much larger than that of a passenger car, so when a truck slips on the roads, the results can be devastating. Commercial trucks may also be more subject to these issues because fully loaded trucks place severe strain on truck tires. Truck tires can wear down more readily than typical tires if a truck is overloaded, and worn-down tires can put a truck more at risk of accidents.

2) Speeding. Another common cause of truck accidents and car accidents in South Miami and other South Florida cities is speeding. With a commercial truck, especially, speeding can be extremely dangerous. Trucks take longer to stop when compared with smaller vehicles, so speeding can make it impossible for a truck driver to react in time in order to prevent a collision. In addition, the size and weight of a truck can easily cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle if he or she is speeding. Speeding also places additional pressure on truck tires and brakes, increasing the risk of a tire blowout or brake failure, which can also cause a truck to veer out of control and jackknife.

3) Road problems. Road issues – including significant potholes, roadwork, and incorrect maintenance of roads – can cause a truck to lose control and can result in a devastating truck accident. In cases where road problems contribute to a traffic accident in South Miami or another South Florida community, injured parties do have the right to seek compensation. They can seek compensation against the truck motor carrier, the truck driver, and even the municipality where the accident took place and where the road was not correctly maintained.

Truck accidents in South Miami and across South Florida cause devastating injuries and fatalities each year. Victims who suffer broken bones, soft tissue injuries, spinal cord injuries, and head injuries in South Miami and other communities due to truck accidents may lose wages and work and may face devastating medical costs. In some cases, pursuing a legal claim can help victims recover these costs so that they do not need to pay them out of pocket. Although car insurance can cover some of the costs, many victims find they have trouble recovering compensation for long-term costs and damages without an attorney. An attorney can launch a legal claim, can advise you of your rights, and can even negotiate with insurance carriers for a fairer insurance amount.

Continue reading "Jackknife Truck Accidents in South Miami and Other Florida Cities" »

April 2, 2013

What Causes Truck Collisions in Miami Springs and Across Florida?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), about 77 000 truck accidents across the country each year are caused by truck driver error. The most common errors, according to the FMCSA, are:

1) Prescription drug use. According to the FMCSA, about 26% of truck accidents are caused by prescription drugs. While truck drivers are subject to strict rules regarding the use of illegal substances and drugs, some drivers do not investigate over-the-counter and prescription medication, which can cause serious side effects such as drowsiness and fatigue. Illegal and legal drugs cause many truck and car accidents in Miami Springs and Florida each year.

2) Speeding. The FMCSA reports that 23% of truck accidents are linked to speeding. FMCSA had strict rules about speeding, including regulation 392.6: "No motor carrier shall…require the operation of any commercial motor vehicle…in such period of time as would necessitate the commercial motor vehicle being operated at speeds greater than those prescribed by the jurisdictions in or through which the commercial motor vehicle is being operated." However, truck drivers sometimes feel pressured to speed in order to meet deadlines or in order to earn a fairer wage.

3) Map reading. This common cause of accidents causes 22% of truck collisions. Truck drivers often must make deliveries to areas they may not be familiar with and this requires them to read a map or use GPS. When truck drivers take their eyes off the road to read a map, car and truck accidents in Miami Springs are likely. Some experts believe that voice-activated GPS devices can help, but other experts warn that the devices can be just as distracting.

4) Use of over-the-counter medications. The FMCSA reports that this contributes to 18% of truck accidents.

5) Fatigued driving. This factor contributes to 13% of truck accidents on a national scale. Truck drivers may be especially prone to fatigued driving because they are on the road for long periods of time, must make deadlines, and often lead a fairly sedentary lifestyle.

6) Not obeying the rules of the road. According to the FMCSA, this contributes to 9% of truck accidents. Violation of traffic rules leads to many traffic accidents in Miami Springs and across the country. While truck drivers are especially trained to obey traffic rules – and while the consequences for breaking the rules are more serious for truck drivers than for the average motorist – truck drivers do sometimes speed, run red lights, or break other rules of the road.

Continue reading "What Causes Truck Collisions in Miami Springs and Across Florida?" »

March 29, 2013

What Puts Truckers in North Miami and Other Florida Cities at Risk of Fatigue-Related Accidents?

Truck drivers face a lot of pressure on the job, and unfortunately there are news items almost every month about truck drivers who have caused a serious accident or even fatalities by falling asleep at the wheel. Fatigue-related related truck accidents in North Miami and across South Florida are a fact of life. However, most of the reasons behind these accidents are completely preventable. Fatigue-related traffic accidents in North Miami and Florida are most often caused by:

1) Sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can affect anyone. Sufferers face interrupted sleep throughout the night, but often cannot remember waking up multiple times when they wake in the morning. People who have sleep apnea are often extremely fatigued throughout the day and may even fall asleep during the day because they are not getting adequate rest at night. This common, treatable condition causes many truck and car accidents in North Miami and across the country.

2) A sedentary lifestyle and fast food on the go. Truck drivers often spend the majority of their life on the road. Since they're sitting in their trucks and often relying on fast food or restaurant food for meals, the unhealthy lifestyle can contribute to a variety of health conditions – including sleep apnea – that can affect driving ability and can lead to sleepiness.

3) Shift work. Studies have shown that workers who work in shifts are more prone to extreme fatigue, falling asleep at the job, and other health dangers. Truck drivers often drive in shifts because they have deadlines to meet, and this can cause extreme fatigue or can even cause a truck driver to fall asleep behind the wheel of their truck.

4) Long haul drives. We rely on trucks to get customer products and goods across the country and across the continent. Unfortunately, this often means long haul drives, which puts extra pressure on truck drivers and can mean fatigued drivers. Federal rules require truck drivers to take frequent rests and to get adequate sleep. However, enforcing these rules is often challenging. In some cases, drivers break the rules or motor carriers pressure drivers to break the rules to ensure that products get to their destination on time.

5) Tight deadlines. Many truck drivers have to get their cargo to a specific destination by a specific time. Many things can slow them down, including bad weather, traffic, and other issues. When drivers are pushed to make a delivery on time, they may get less sleep or may take less stringent care of themselves, which can lead to fatigued driving and possible accidents.

6) Highway hypnosis. Long periods of driving can lead to highway hypnosis, which can easily lead to a truck driver falling asleep behind the wheel of a truck, especially if he or she is already tired.

7) Medication and illegal substances. Some medication and drugs – including illegal drugs – cause fatigue and sleepiness, which can be very dangerous for truck drivers.

Continue reading "What Puts Truckers in North Miami and Other Florida Cities at Risk of Fatigue-Related Accidents?" »

March 27, 2013

Truck Accidents on Construction Sites in Miami and Other Communities

Construction sites are everywhere across South Florida, and in many cases they are a positive sign of economic growth and population expansion. Unfortunately, construction sites can also lead to many workplace accidents in Miami and other communities. Construction sites are also common sites for truck accidents. There many types of traffic accidents that can occur on construction sites:

1) Crane accidents. Crane accidents in Miami are one of the more common types of construction site-related accidents. Cranes can easily tip over, causing severe injury. They can also run over construction workers and employees on the ground work and drop heavy materials onto workers below. Crane accidents are likely to lead to fatalities and permanent injuries.

2) Traffic accidents caused by traffic congestion and poor signage. Inevitably, construction sites often cause traffic congestion and problems. In many cases, traffic needs to be diverted around the construction area or lanes are narrowed as workers complete their construction project. Construction crews are expected to provide proper signs to help pedestrians and motorists navigate the construction site safely. When construction site owners do not adequately warn drivers and this from negligence leads to a car or truck accident in Miami, the victims who have been injured can seek compensation through a legal claim.

3) Back-over accidents. Most construction sites have multiple workers on the ground as well as many types of equipment and trucks. Unfortunately, the combination of pedestrians and truck traffic can be disastrous. If both truck drivers and workers are not cautious, a truck or other piece of heavy equipment can easily back over a worker, causing death or serious injury.

4) Accidents caused by debris. Debris is an inevitable fact of construction sites. Whether construction crews are remodeling an existing structure or building from scratch, various types of debris can be found on the ground, including glass, tools, building materials, nails, and more. Heavy debris can cause truck accidents, equipment accidents, and minor accidents and injuries to construction workers. Construction site owners have an obligation to ensure that proper cleanup occurs on all construction sites to keep workers safe. Employees also have an obligation to wear the right safety equipment (including hard hats, work boots, and other equipment) to stay safe.

If your a construction worker and have been injured on a construction site in Miami, workers compensation in Miami may not cover the full cost of your injuries. If you have been seriously injured, especially, you may face hundreds of thousands of dollars in long-term medical bills, lost income, and other expenses. Before you make any decisions in your case, you will want to speak to a personal injury attorney in Miami about all your options.

Continue reading "Truck Accidents on Construction Sites in Miami and Other Communities " »

March 22, 2013

Risky Situations that Can Lead to Truck Accidents in Miami Beach and other Areas of Florida

The majority of truck and car accidents in Miami Beach and other South Florida communities occur due to driver error. However, there are number of hazards that can contribute to driver error and can increase the risk of a traffic accident:

1) Poor weather. Inclement weather – including severe storms, rains, and other weather patterns -- can reduce visibility, cause debris to fly out onto the road, and create slick conditions that can increase the risk of a traffic accident in Miami Beach. If you're going to be driving for a long time, especially, it is important to check weather reports and make sure that you are prepared for any weather conditions that may arise. Keeping your car in good condition is also important to help avoid weather-related car accidents. Properly working brakes, windshield wipers, and other car components can increase the likelihood of avoiding a collision.

2) Traffic congestion. Heavy traffic can increase the risk of a car accident or truck accident in Miami Beach and other communities for a number of reasons. Traffic congestion can increase instances of road rage and impatience, for instance, which can lead to accidents. In addition, heavy traffic can make it harder to see around vehicles in front of you, increasing the risk of an accident. Heavy traffic can be especially dangerous because in high-traffic situations, accidents involving multiple vehicles are more likely. To avoid an accident caused by this issue, listen to traffic reports so that you can avoid traffic delays.

3) Secondary car accidents. Accidents can easily lead to secondary traffic collisions. When one accident occurs, other drivers may slow down to look or may become distracted by the collision. In addition, a serious car accident or truck accident in Miami Beach can cause debris to fly back towards traffic, potentially leading to other accidents.

4) Road work and construction sites. Construction sites and road work can be a distraction for drivers and can increase the risk of an accident. In many cases, road work, especially, can cause detours, obstacles, and debris, all of which can lead to a traffic collision. Avoiding road work and construction is one way to avoid collisions. Try to find alternative routes around known construction areas and work sites.

5) Road conditions. Potholes, poorly constructed roads, and other issues can easily lead to serious car accidents and traffic accidents in Miami Beach and other communities. When municipalities are negligent in maintaining roads correctly and when this negligence leads to injuries and accidents, personal injury victims in Miami Beach and other communities can seek compensation through a legal claim.

Continue reading "Risky Situations that Can Lead to Truck Accidents in Miami Beach and other Areas of Florida" »

March 20, 2013

Think Like a Claims Adjuster to Successfully Get Compensation After a Truck Collision in Miami or Your Community

Claims adjusters investigate claims on behalf of insurance companies and make recommendations about the damages that should be awarded. The aim of the adjuster is to work quickly and effectively to place a price on the damages. If you have been in a truck accident in Miami or anywhere in South Florida and contact your insurance company, they will probably send out an insurance professional quickly to assess the damage.

For many people who have suffered a serious truck accident injury, such as a spinal cord injury or a head injury, in Miami or another community, part of the problem is that insurance adjusters want to resolve insurance claims inexpensively and quickly. This means that some injured parties find that the full costs of their injuries are not completely covered by insurance money. In order to recover as much as possible, you need to think like a claims adjuster. This means that after a serious traffic accident in Miami you should:

1) Get documentation for everything. If you have sustained a serious injury, such as a spinal cord injury, in Miami, get copies of medical records, receipts for all injury-related expenses, and any other documentation you can. Get copies of police reports, keep a journal and photos of your injuries, and any other information possible. Start documenting at the accident scene, gathering as much data and photos as you can.

2) It’s a numbers game -- consider shorter-term and longer-term costs. Insurance companies do not consider the emotional or personal impact of accidents; their job is to put a financial number on injuries. When considering your injuries, consider the short-term and also the longer-term costs associated with your injuries. These costs can include rehabilitation, lost wages, lost earnings potential, medical care, and more. If you need help determining the costs, consult with a personal injury attorney in Miami. Experienced attorneys have seen similar injuries and can help you understand the total costs involved.

3) Get everything checked out. Insurance companies leave no stone unturned when investigating an accident – and neither should you. If you have been in a serious accident, get medical attention right away, even if you do not seem seriously hurt. Some injuries are not apparent right away. Review your insurance policies (including the fine print) so that you understand your coverage. Take your car to a mechanic you trust right away to determine what the damages to your car might be. The more you know about the true impact of the accident, the easier it will be to make the right decision in your case.

4) Speak with an attorney. A personal injury attorney in Miami can help you understand your rights and what you can do to get the fairest compensation possible. An attorney may be able to negotiate with insurance carriers on your behalf or can help you launch a legal claim if you feel that is the best option.

Continue reading "Think Like a Claims Adjuster to Successfully Get Compensation After a Truck Collision in Miami or Your Community" »

March 16, 2013

What Are The Real Costs of Truck Accidents in Coral Gables and Other Communities?

If you have sustained injuries in a truck accident in Coral Gables or any Florida community, you will likely file an insurance claim and will get an offer from your insurance company. When evaluating any offer you receive, it is important to consider your total costs. In many cases, insurance carriers want to settle claims as inexpensively and quickly as possible. Once you accept the insurance money, however, you may have a hard time getting further compensation if you realize that your injuries cost more than you realize. Many people who sustain injuries in a truck accident or car accident in Coral Gables or another community do not realize the high costs associated with these types of injuries. These costs can include:

1) Emergency medical care. When traffic accidents in Coral Gables involve a large commercial truck, the results can be devastating. The large size of the truck can create immense damage in a traffic accident and usually results in serious injury and trips to the emergency room. Emergency medical care may be partly covered by your medical insurance.

2) Medical tests. Tests are usually required to evaluate a condition. In some cases, these tests can be quite expensive. MRI tests and medical imaging tests to check for a head injury or soft tissue injury, for example, can cost hundreds of dollars or even over a thousand dollars.

3) Medical devices. You may need neck braces, crutches, and other medical devices as you recover from your injury.

4) Long-term medical care and rehabilitation. Patients who sustain serious injuries, such as spinal cord injuries or head injuries in Coral Gables and other communities, may take months or years to recover from their injuries and often require rehabilitation as well as long-term care to recover. The costs of long-term care for a serious injury can be very high and in some cases can amount to over a hundred thousand dollars per year or more.

5) “Optional” medical care and treatment. Some insurance carriers classify some treatment as “optional” or even “cosmetic” even when this type of treatment is needed to help you return to your normal tasks. For example, if you have lost some of your teeth in an accident or have suffered burn injuries in a Coral Gables traffic accident, you may need dentures or skin grafts to repair the injuries. Some insurance companies will argue that these treatments are not necessary, however.

6) Medication. After sustaining a serious injury in a traffic accident, you may need medication. For example, you may need to take pain medication or your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if you suffer complications during your recovery.

7) Transportation to and from doctors and specialists. If your car has been damaged, you may need to repair the vehicle or have it replaced. You may not even be physically able to drive while you recover. This may mean you need to pay for taxis or rental cars to visit doctors and other professionals who are helping you as you recover.

8) Lost wages. After a serious accident, you may not be able to return to work for months – or even longer. You will need to replace your wages so that you can pay your bills.

9) Counseling. The trauma of a traffic accident may result in serious distress and may you need counseling or other forms of care to help deal with the trauma.

10) Costs associated with making your home or car accessible. If you have been seriously injured, you may need to make changes to your car or home. For example, you may need to install a wheelchair ramp at home or have your car altered so that you can use the car even with your wheelchair. These costs can be quite high.

11) Long-term loss of wages and benefits. If you are permanently injured, you may not be able to return to your regular work. You may need to take on lower-paying work and may lose some of the benefits of higher-paying jobs.

Continue reading "What Are The Real Costs of Truck Accidents in Coral Gables and Other Communities?" »

January 22, 2013

FMCSR Aims to Halt Fatigue-Related Truck Accidents in Coral Springs and Florida

Fatigued driving is known to be one of the most common reasons for car accidents and truck accidents in Coral Springs and across Florida. Preventing fatigue-related car accidents in Coral Springs and other communities can be tricky, however, since passenger car drivers are not bound by the same strict federal regulations as commercial truck drivers. However, FMCSR regulations for truck drivers are strict and experts believe that these regulations, when followed, help prevent accidents. These rules include:

1) A provision which holds motor carriers and truck drivers responsible for fatigued truck drivers. If a driver is impaired and tired due to illness, fatigue, or any other cause and may be unsafe behind the wheel, it is the responsibility of both the truck driver and the motor carrier to not permit the driver to operate a truck. This rule ensures that if you are in a traffic accident in Coral Springs that is caused by fatigue truck driver, both the motor carrier and the driver may be held liable. This can improve your chances of getting fair compensation in your case.

2) Commercial truck drivers cannot drive more than eleven hours consecutively after 10 hours off duty. This rule ensures that truck drivers get adequate rest and are not encouraged to drive to the point where there so fatigued that they are at risk of a truck accident.

3) Commercial truck drivers cannot drive after having driven 60 hours during 7 days consecutively. This applies to all motor carriers who do not operate commercial trucks seven days of the week. This rule ensures that truck drivers get adequate rest and don't work overly long weeks.

4) Commercial truck drivers cannot drive after having been on duty fourteen hours after a 10 hour break off-duty. Truck drivers who are not actively driving may still be on duty and working. For example, they may be overseeing the loading of cargo or waiting for a truck to be loaded. By counting these hours as work, too, federal regulators ensure that truck drivers don't work long hours which can lead them to be in a accident.

5) Commercial truck drivers cannot drive after having been on duty for 70 hours over 8 days consecutively. This rule applies to motor carriers who operate commercial trucks seven days a week.

6) Drivers need to be off duty for 34 consecutive hours to reset the seven or eight consecutive days described in FMCSR.

7) A commercial truck driver with a sleeper berth in his or her truck needs to have at least ten hours consecutively off duty or in the sleeper berth before beginning to drive again.

Continue reading "FMCSR Aims to Halt Fatigue-Related Truck Accidents in Coral Springs and Florida" »

January 8, 2013

Could Mindlessness Lead to Car and Truck Accidents in Miami Springs and Across Florida?

A new study published in the British Medical Journal has concluded that mind-wandering can contribute to car accidents. The study’s authors spoke with 955 injured drivers who were admitted to Emergency Rooms. In 47% of cases, researchers determined that the injured driver was the at-fault driver and in half of those cases the driver was engaged in mind wandering before the crash. In 13% of cases, the mind wandering intense and disruptive. According to researchers, mind wandering involves thinking about tasks other than the task at hand.

While drivers are aware that drunk driving accidents in Miami Springs and across Florida claim lives and while motorists are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of texting and driving, experts agree that there is less awareness about the other types of distractions. While much has been written in the media about mobile devices causing truck accidents in Miami Springs and across the nation, there is less public awareness of the fact that any distraction – even emotional distraction – can lead to roadway accidents.

When we are not mindful while driving, our full focus is not on the road. We may miss important information – such as traffic lights or pedestrians – because we are not paying attention. This can easily lead to a collision. There are many things that truck drivers and motorists can do to prevent mind wandering:

1) Avoid excessive driving. Of course, truck drivers have hours of service rules that are designed to ensure that drivers get adequate rest. Non-commercial drivers in passenger vehicles, however, need to be responsible to themselves in ensuring they get enough rest and frequent breaks when driving. It’s harder to keep focus on driving over very long distances, so if you travel often you can prevent truck and car accidents in Miami Springs or in your community by making stops to rest.

2) Find savvy ways to deal with emotional problems. In many cases, our minds wander because we have a worry or concern gnawing at us. Rather than just thinking about the problem, try discussing it with a trusted friend or writing in a journal about it. Dealing with issues rather than mulling them over is more productive – and safer if you are driving.

3) Get in the habit of evaluating your emotional state often. If your mind tends to wander often or you tend to daydream while driving, set up some system for evaluating your emotional state as you drive. You could evaluate your focus at every stop light, for example. Frequently reminding yourself that you need to focus fully on driving can break the daydreaming habit.

4) Get plenty of sleep. It is much harder to focus when you are tired, and fatigued driving has been linked to traffic accidents in Miami Springs and across the country. Adequate rest will make you a safer driver.

Continue reading "Could Mindlessness Lead to Car and Truck Accidents in Miami Springs and Across Florida?" »

January 1, 2013

Driving Tips To Help You Avoid Truck Accidents in Coral Gables

Each year, truck accidents in Coral Gables and across South Florida occur because drivers make simple mistakes that lead to collisions. To help avoid car accidents in Coral Gables involving trucks, there are many things that you can do:

1) Allow trucks to have right of way. Do not cut trucks off, especially if they may be braking. Trucks take longer to stop than passenger cars, so cutting commercial trucks off can lead to an accident.

2) Stay out of trucks’ no zones. Commercial trucks have large blind spots – known as “no zones.” These tend to be behind and along the sides of the truck. In general, if you cannot see the truck driver in the truck’s side mirrors, the truck driver cannot see you. Driving in a truck’s no zones increases the risk of an accident, since the driver may not realize you are close to the truck and may back up or try to change lanes.

3) Keep at least four seconds of distance between you and trucks in front of you. Trucks need extra time to maneuver. In addition, they may make frequent stops and starts as they make deliveries. Allowing extra room gives you a little extra insurance.

4) Pass trucks safely. Give yourself extra time, since trucks are longer. Use your signal and maintain a steady speed when passing. Make sure that you can see the front of the truck in your rear-view mirror before you re-enter the lane and complete the pass. Use extra caution when passing trucks with trailers – these can swing into your lane.

5) When you see a truck making a turn, stay well back. Avoid trying to squeeze in between the truck and the curb – your vehicle may be crushed when the truck swings wide. These types of traffic accidents in Coral Gables and across South Florida can be especially deadly, since the smaller passenger vehicle is often crushed by the impact.

6) If you are on a hill and stopped behind a truck, give the truck plenty of extra space. The truck may start to drift backwards a bit before moving forward when the driver releases the brakes. Extra space ensures your car won’t be hit if this happens. Leaving extra space also makes it more likely that the truck driver will see you.

7) On highways, avoid driving between two trucks or multiple trucks – you may get into a collision if the truck drivers cannot see you.

Continue reading "Driving Tips To Help You Avoid Truck Accidents in Coral Gables" »

December 26, 2012

Programs Aim to Reduce South Miami Truck Accidents Caused by Aggressive Driving

In November of this year, the Florida Highway Patrol and other agencies launched TACT (Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks), an initiative aimed at reducing Florida traffic accidents caused by aggressive drivers. According to authorities, aggressive driving is a leading cause of South Miami car accidents and truck accidents. When drivers are aggressive, they're more likely to make mistakes and more likely to take risks, which can lead to accidents and serious injury. There are many things that can be done to help prevent aggressive driving:

1) Take responsibility and avoid driving when you are emotional. Emotional driving can be just as dangerous as distracted driving and can also lead to South Miami truck accidents and car accidents. When you are emotional, your full focus is not on the road and you're more likely to make mistakes as well as to drive aggressively. If you find yourself emotional or angry and want to drive off, take a walk instead, take a few deep breaths and learn to relax yourself before you hop in the car.

2) Be aware of the risk factors of aggressive driving. We all have triggers that make us angry. Learn to recognize what makes you angry and avoid driving immediately afterwards.

3) Learn to recognize symptoms of anger before you get in the car and learn to diffuse them. Many people drive aggressively because they do not realize that they are at risk or do not realize that they are driving aggressively. If you are speeding, cutting other drivers off, yelling at other drivers, making aggressive hand gestures, and are filled with anger as you are driving, you're probably an aggressive driver and you may be suffering from road rage. You should pull over and calm down before you continue to drive. If you feel angry and feel like hitting something, yelling, or driving quickly, do not get in the car. Learn to calm yourself before you drive.

4) Report aggressive drivers. Drivers who are aggressive on the road tend to drive aggressively repeatedly. If you see someone who is weaving, making offensive gestures, or seems to be in the throes of road rage, report them.

5) Learn to manage your anger if it is an issue. If you have trouble controlling your temper or your emotions and it is affecting your driving ability or your life, consult a professional. Anger management classes can make you a better driver, can make you calmer, and can improve the quality of your life.

Continue reading "Programs Aim to Reduce South Miami Truck Accidents Caused by Aggressive Driving" »

December 20, 2012

Collecting Benefits if You Have Lost a Loved One in a Miami Springs Truck Accident

If you have lost a loved one in a Miami Springs truck accident, you will likely be facing not only enormous grief but also financial distress, especially if the person you have lost was an income earner. In addition to losing the income, you may also face final medical expenses, memorial expenses, and other costs. You will need to pay for final taxes as well as any debt that the loved one may have had. For many families, this means that Miami Springs traffic accidents become not only a time of grief but also a time of financial distress. In many cases, you may qualify for benefits if you have lost a loved one to a Miami Springs car accident or traffic accident. You may qualify for:

1) Insurance policies. If your loved one had life insurance or car insurance, the beneficiary will be paid the insurance after a death certificate is provided. In many cases, the insurance amount is doubled in the event of an accident, so make sure that you confirm the insurance amount. It is important to get insurance money quickly, since final expenses may be considerable after an accident. Some insurance carriers will allow you to accept a payment plan or get a lump sum. You may wish to talk to a financial adviser to determine which plan is right for you and your family.

2) Social Security Benefits. Families may qualify for Survivors’ Benefits for a Spouse and Children or for One-Time Death Benefits if a loved one contributed to the social security program in the last ten years. If you are not sure whether your family qualifies, you can find out by contacting the Social Security Administration (SSA).

3) Employer benefits. If your loved one was working, he or she may be owed a paycheck and other benefits. He or she may also have been insured by the employer and the surviving family may qualify for the insurance money. It is also a good idea to contact all past employers to determine whether the family qualifies for any pension plan payments. In cases where your loved one sustained their fatal accident while at work, the family may qualify for worker’s compensation.

4) Veteran’s benefits. If your loved one was a member of the armed forces, the family may qualify for a lump-sum payment for burial expenses and may qualify for additional benefits in some cases. You can learn more from your Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) office or through your funeral home director.

In addition to these benefits, you may qualify for compensation under the law if the traffic accident was caused by someone's recklessness or negligence. In these cases, you may be able to pursue a legal claim which allows you to seek damages which can help cover some of the costs related to losing a loved one in an accident. While the money will not bring your loved one back, it can help keep your family financially secure as you start to heal.

Continue reading "Collecting Benefits if You Have Lost a Loved One in a Miami Springs Truck Accident" »

December 18, 2012

Staying Organized After a Miami Lakes Truck Accident

If you have been seriously injured in a Miami Lakes truck accident or have lost someone in a traffic accident, getting organized may be the last thing on your mind. However, after a serious Miami Lakes traffic accident, you will likely be given a barrage of information and will need to keep track of a number of legal and medical processes. Staying organized is essential to ensuring that you get everything done. Keeping organized is also important since you may be upset and grieving, and therefore keeping track of all the information coming your way may be harder than ever. There are a few things that you can do to make the process easier:

1) Create a list of phone numbers you need to call and create a phone log of who you have spoken to and when. You will likely need to phone a number of people after your accident. If you have been in a Miami Lakes car accident involving a commercial truck, you may need to contact a Miami Lakes personal injury attorney, for example, specialists, doctors, your insurance company, a support group, and many other people. Keep a list of all the information and all the phone numbers that you will likely need. Also, keep a notebook by the phone so that you can keep tabs of who calls when and what you discussed.

2) Create a file related to all your accident-related information. One file can contain your insurance policy information, insurance claims, any paperwork from your attorney, any copies of police report and medical files, and any other information that you need related to your case. This way, if your insurance company or attorney requires any information, it is handily in one location.

3) Evaluate your expenses and create a budget. A serious Miami Lakes truck accident that results in injuries or death usually results in financial distress as well. You may require expensive medical care and you may also lose income because you are unable to work. In order to survive financially, it is important to have a budget and to evaluate your assets as well as the expenses coming your way. You also want to keep a list of everything that you are spending that is related to your accident. You want to keep receipts for any medical devices you need, for example, as well as any medical expenses and transportation expenses. This way, your Miami Lakes personal injury attorney can pursue compensation for these costs.

4) Collect the papers you need. This may include medical papers, death certificates, insurance policies, military discharge papers, wills, list of assets, and other documents. You will likely be asked for these papers at some point.

5) Make a list of everything you need to do after your accident and write it in a planner or use your mobile device calendar or planner feature to create reminders. It is easy to lose track of appointments and things to do when you're distressed. Keeping a list of everything and using an online calendar to remind you of appointments ensures that nothing slips through the cracks.

Continue reading "Staying Organized After a Miami Lakes Truck Accident" »

December 11, 2012

What to Consider when Choosing a North Miami Truck Accident Attorney

If you have been seriously injured in a North Miami trucking accident, consulting with a North Miami personal injury attorney can be one of the smartest things you do. An attorney can help you understand the total costs of your injuries, can help you pursue justice, can investigate your accident, and can pursue a legal claim so that you are not facing financial distress as well as injuries. There are many attorneys for you to choose from. However, when choosing an attorney, make sure that you ask yourself the following questions:

1) How soon will the attorney start investigating the truck accident? The truck accident attorney will need to be retained in order to start an investigation, but the investigation should start as quickly as possible after that. After a North Miami traffic accident, evidence disappears quickly. This is especially true of a truck accident, where the truck company may not feel obligated to hang on to evidence. After a North Miami truck accident, insurance providers working for the truck company will usually arrive at the scene within minutes. To build the strongest possible case your attorney will need to start the investigation as quickly as possible.

2) How many similar cases has the attorney handled? An attorney who has handled multiple North Miami truck accident cases, personal injury cases, traffic accident cases, and North Miami head injury cases likely has the trial experience and legal experience you need to build a strong case.

3) Does the attorney have access to private investigators and expert witnesses? A personal injury attorney who works with a full-service law firm who can quickly find expert witnesses and private investigators to investigate your accident is a huge benefit. An attorney with multiple resources can thoroughly investigate the accident and help build a strong case on your behalf.

4) Is the attorney an expert on issues related to truck accidents? Look for a North Miami truck collision attorney who understands the issues related to truck accidents. An attorney who understands how speeding, driver distraction, and other issues affect truck accidents, for example, is more likely to find multiple liable parties and pursue justice effectively on your behalf.

5) Is the attorney familiar with the rules and laws that affect truck drivers and truck companies? Commercial truck drivers must meet certain state and federal laws in order to operate. If your attorney understands these laws, he or she is better equipped to notice when a truck company or driver violates these laws.

6) Is the attorney familiar with the insurance system? An attorney who is familiar with the insurance system often can better predict the tactics that insurance companies will use in defending their clients. An attorney who is familiar with the insurance system can also better negotiate with insurance carriers on your behalf, so this is an important advantage.

7) Does the attorney have strong referrals or a track record of compensation secured on behalf of victims? It is a good sign when an attorney has a track record of successful and happy clients.

Continue reading "What to Consider when Choosing a North Miami Truck Accident Attorney" »

November 22, 2012

Truck Driver Tips For Renters: Preventing Miami Springs Truck Accidents If You Have To Rent A Truck

Most motorists who drive passenger vehicles may need to rent a truck or van at some point in their lives in order to complete home renovations or for a move. If you need to rent a truck, you will want to keep several safety tips in mind in order to help prevent a Miami Springs traffic accident:

1) Rent the right truck and check it out before you drive. Choose the smallest truck you need for your needs without having to overburden the truck. The larger the truck you rent, the more blind spots you will have and the more difficult it will be for you to drive the truck, especially if you're used to smaller vehicles. If you need a very large truck for your task, consider hiring a moving service or truck driver to prevent having to drive the truck yourself. If you do rent a light truck, make sure that you test the truck out before you load it up and drive it anywhere. Consider taking it to a mechanic for quick once over. Unfortunately, the safety records and standards of rental companies very widely. There many horror stories of customers renting trucks that are not fit for the road or that prove to have safety issues.

2) Go for a test drive. If you rent a truck, consider taking it out on back roads and quiet streets to familiarize yourself with the vehicle before you load it up and take it for a drive in busy areas. Gaining a little bit of experience and confidence with the truck is important in helping you reduce the risk of a Miami Springs truck accident.

3) Get lots of rest. Fatigued driving is a leading cause of Miami Springs car accidents and truck accidents. If you are moving or doing something strenuous, especially, get plenty of rest so that you are alert on the road.

4) Make sure you know the responsibilities of the truck. If you are renting a very large truck, you may need to keep a log of driving hours and rest hours and you may need to make stops at scales along the way. Make sure you have this information before you take the truck out of the rental company’s parking lot.

5) Drive defensively.

6) Become aware of your truck’s no zones. Trucks have more blind spots and much larger blind spots than the average car. Become familiar with the truck's blind spots and make sure to give yourself extra room in order to account for them. Use your mirrors and turn around physically to check blind spots when backing up, turning, and driving. Up to one third of car accidents involving trucks and passenger vehicles occur because of a vehicle in the truck’s no zone.

7) Use extra caution in construction zones. Construction zones are danger zones for all drivers, especially trucks. Construction zones usually involve a number of pedestrian construction workers as well as larger vehicles and unpredictable vehicle movements. When in a construction zone, slow down and follow directions and signs carefully.

8) Give yourself extra space. Trucks take more time to slow down. With the larger blind spots, as well, it becomes more important to keep a larger distance between yourself and other vehicles. When in doubt, leave more room.

9) Report problems. If you notice unsafe conditions on a highway or other safety dangers, you can contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Driver Hotline (1-800-DOT-SAFT) or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Vehicle Hotline (1-888-327-4236) in order to report the problems.

Continue reading "Truck Driver Tips For Renters: Preventing Miami Springs Truck Accidents If You Have To Rent A Truck" »

November 13, 2012

Could Miami Gardens Truck Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving Be on the Increase at This Time of Year?

At this time of year, distracted driving can be a cause of concern -- after all, at this time of year many people are especially busy trying to shop, visit family and friends, and take part in all the holiday festivities. Many workplaces are also extra busy during the holiday season, creating extra stress for employees. However, could the extra holiday rush mean more Miami Gardens truck accidents? It is possible for a couple of reasons:

1) The holiday season means more traffic – especially more truck traffic. During the holiday season, stores ramp up their retailing efforts, and this often means more inventory and more trucks required to bring holiday sale items or holiday decor items to stores. At the same time, there's more traffic on the roads as holiday shoppers travel to stores and travel to holiday parties and events. The increase in traffic can mean more Miami Gardens car accidents and truck accidents on the roads.

2) Truck companies and truck drivers feel the pressure of the holidays too. The holiday season is a busy one for the trucking industry, as more stores demand more inventory in their stores and as more deliveries need to be made as customers order products and mail them to friends and family. The additional busyness can mean that truckers feel more pressure to deliver more products and more deliveries on time. Deadlines can be tighter at this time of year and drivers may feel more pressure to check their messages and work-related phones frequently. They may also feel more pressure to drive quickly and to deliver more in a shorter period of time in order to meet demand. This extra pressure can easily lead to a truck accident in cases where drivers are distracted from driving by the extra holiday rush.

3) The holiday season coincides with the flu season. Unfortunately, this time of year is not only the holiday season but also the flu season. When truck drivers get sick, they may feel pressured to keep driving and keep working in order to meet holiday demand. Having the flu or being sick can be extremely distracting, however, and can easily lead to Miami Gardens traffic accidents.

4) The holiday season can mean new routes for truck drivers. Truck drivers may need to deviate from regular routes during the holiday season in order to deal with new customers, new holiday demands, and new deliveries during the holiday season. Unfamiliar routes can be distracting for truck drivers, as they try to navigate unfamiliar streets and try to keep track of their routes and maps.

5) The holiday season can mean temporary or replacement truck drivers. Many trucking companies hire temporary drivers or seasonal drivers or take on new workers in order to meet holiday demand and in order to replace any drivers who are sick or unable to work due to family responsibilities. Unfortunately, replacement truck drivers may not be familiar with established routes. In addition, truck companies may feel pressure to hire and may do less screening of truck drivers if they feel pressure to hire more drivers during the holiday rush.

Continue reading "Could Miami Gardens Truck Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving Be on the Increase at This Time of Year?" »

November 8, 2012

Laws Aiming to Prevent Davie Trucking Accidents

Truck drivers and truck companies all have to abide by laws and regulations established by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In addition to following the basic rules of the road that all motorists must abide by, commercial truck drivers must follow federal and state rules which govern:

1) Service hours. Laws require truck drivers to drive a limited time before resting. These laws are designed to help prevent Davie traffic accidents and Florida accidents caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Unfortunately, truck drivers and companies often have a financial interest in driving further in a shorter period of time without breaks in order to meet deadlines. Truck drivers are expected to keep a log of their driving hours so that they can prove that they have taken adequate rest stops.

2) Rest hours. To prevent accidents caused by drowsy driving, truck drivers are expected to rest for specific periods of time between drives. They are also expected to get regular longer rests to stay alert. As with service hours, drivers must keep a log of their rest periods.

3) Load weights. There are weight limits of trucks for a number of reasons. Trucks that exceed certain weight limits can cause damage to roads and other infrastructure, making roadways less safe for other vehicles. In addition, trucks that are over their weight limit are harder for the driver to control and more likely to be an accident. Trucks with exceeded load limits also put extra pressure on brake systems, tires, and other systems, possibly leading to a Davie tire blowout or other incident that can lead to an accident.

4) Truck maintenance. Truck companies are responsible for ensuring that their fleet of trucks is regularly maintained. In addition, truck drivers are expected to check their trucks daily and before each trip, reporting or fixing any issues and keeping a log of the inspections. In some cases, drivers and companies may neglect maintenance due to time issues or in order to save money. When this happens and poor maintenance leads to an accident, the driver and company may be held liable.

5) Distracted and impaired driving. Florida laws do not currently ban motorists from texting and driving, but commercial truck drivers are not allowed to text and drive or to drive distracted. In addition, truck drivers are subject to drug and alcohol testing and face very strict rules about recklessness behind the wheel. If a truck driver causes a Davie car accident due to distracted or impaired driving, they may face stiffer penalties since the rules for commercial drivers are stricter.

6) Speed limits. Just like all motorists, truck drivers are expected to follow the speed limit. This is very important, since commercial truck drivers usually need to make deadlines and may have a financial incentive to speed and deliver a shipment by a specific date or time. When commercial truck drivers are caught exceeding the speed limit or cause an accident by speeding, they may face legal claims as well as loss of their license.

Continue reading "Laws Aiming to Prevent Davie Trucking Accidents" »

October 30, 2012

Avoiding Coral Gables Truck Accidents Involving Pedestrians

When it comes to Coral Gables pedestrian accidents involving trucks, pedestrians have almost no chance. A large commercial truck can easily kill a pedestrian while causing almost no damage to the vehicle itself. To prevent this type of accident from occurring to you, make sure to follow these tips:

1) Use extra caution when approaching a truck on foot. One of the big risks that lead to Coral Gables truck accidents is that trucks have many blind spots. These blind spots prevent a truck driver from seeing a car near the truck – much less a pedestrian. Many trucks also make frequent stops and starts as they make deliveries, so predicting their movements can be more challenging than predicting the movements of cars.

2) Teach children to avoid approaching trucks. Children are naturally curious about large commercial trucks, so it is important to teach children to never approach these vehicles or play near them.

3) If you must approach a truck, make eye contact with the truck driver to ensure that he or she can see you. The driver can only see you if you can see the driver in the mirrors. If you cannot, you are in the driver’s blind spot.

4) Be careful when walking along roads and shoulders of roads with plenty of truck traffic. Trucks may be driving along highways and country roads, and these types of areas tend not to have sidewalks, making them riskier for Coral Gables traffic accidents. If you must walk in these areas, walk towards traffic and use extra caution.

5) Stay visible when taking a walk. Wear clothes with reflective strips and carry a flashlight. You are less at risk of a Coral Gables car accident or truck accident if motorists can see you.

6) Use extra caution in areas with truck traffic. This includes busy streets, garbage days, retail areas, and parking lots. Keep alert for truck traffic and make sure you give trucks extra room. Trucks use alarms and signal lights to communicate with drivers around them – make sure that you stay alert for any signals from trucks around you.

7) Do not walk distracted or drunk. Most drivers are aware of the risks of drunk driving and distracted driving, but distraction and inebriation can also be a risk for pedestrians. If you are under the influence or distracted, you can easily walk into a truck’s path or forget to use extra caution. Only walk when you are physically and mentally fit to do so.

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October 23, 2012

Driving with a Chronic Illness: How to Avoid Getting Into a Miami Truck Accident or Car Accident Due to a Medical Condition

Medical conditions are a serious hazard on the road. Each year, people are injured and killed because motorists fall ill behind the wheel. Heart attacks, seizures, strokes, and other medical emergencies cause Miami pedestrian accidents and car accidents each year. Even milder conditions, such as sleep apnea, cause serious Miami truck accidents. To avoid this type of tragedy from happening to you:

1) Get regular checkups and get symptoms checked out promptly. Not knowing that you have a medical condition can be one of the most dangerous situations. Some conditions – including high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and cardiac disease – are very dangerous for motorists but may not have obvious symptoms. Getting regular checkups and checks of your vitals is an important part of staying proactive about your health and safety.

2) Get treatment and follow doctor directions carefully to manage your condition. If you do have a condition that can affect your driving ability, it is important to manage your condition as well as possible. Consult with your doctor as needed and follow the treatment plan as prescribed.

3) Do not get back on the road until you are ready. Ask your doctor about your driving skills and how they may be affected. If you are diagnosed with an illness that affects your coordination, cognitive skills, vision, or mobility you may wish to ask your doctor how it will affect your driving ability. You may need some accessibility features for your car or you may need to get the condition under control before you get back to driving.

4) Talk to your pharmacist about any medications you may be taking. Medications that make you sleepy or drowsy can be dangerous. Even over the counter medications can affect your ability to drive, so read labels carefully and ask if you have any questions.

5) Take driving slow. Avoid higher-risk driving. If you have a medical condition that you are getting used to, ease back into driving as you learn to cope with your health. Avoid longer drives, night driving, and riskier driving situations until you are sure that you can handle them.

6) Take driving refresher courses or an evaluation of your driving skills. If your health concern affects your mobility, vision, cognitive skills, or response times, consider getting your driving evaluated by a driving instruction or expert. Discussing your concerns and addressing your problems can help you to drive safely.

7) Get the technology you need for your car to make driving easier. New safety and accessibility tools are developed every day and can help make driving easier and safer for you, helping you avoid Miami car collisions. Consider some of these features for your car to make you a safer – and more confident – driver.

Continue reading "Driving with a Chronic Illness: How to Avoid Getting Into a Miami Truck Accident or Car Accident Due to a Medical Condition" »

October 2, 2012

Cargo Issues That Can Lead to Tamarac Trucking Accidents

Each day, trucks in Tamarac carry cargo to and from businesses and homes. Cargo on trucks varies widely, from food products to live animals to tools and cars. Just about every item we buy is likely transported by truck at some point. Although most truck deliveries occur without incidents, some serious Tamarac truck accidents occur each year due to problems with cargo. These problems can include:

1) Incorrectly secured loads. Cargo transported by truck is supposed to be carefully and correctly secured so that it does not shift during transport. When cargo shift occurs, Tamarac traffic accidents are a common result. Determining liability in these cases is often a challenge, since there may be multiple freight handlers tasked with loading, unloading, and securing cargo. In these types of claims, the driver of the truck is also often held party liable, since securing the cargo is the driver’s responsibility. Drivers are expected to check the cargo before each trip and regularly throughout a trip to ensure that cargo is secured correctly.

2) Heavy loads. A common cargo issue with commercial trucks is overloading. Commercial trucks have strict limits about the cargo weight they are allowed to carry. Exceeding the weight places additional pressure on the brakes, tires, and other systems of a truck, leading to Tamarac truck accidents.

3) Shifting loads. Some loads shift more than others, even when securely placed in a truck. Livestock, for example, and liquids in tanker trucks may shift more than many other types of loads. Correctly securing loads can help, but in some cases loads shift unexpectedly.

4) Rollovers. Trucks have higher centers of gravity than passenger cars, which can lead to rollovers, especially when it comes to fully loaded commercial trucks. When cargo is not correctly secured, the possibility of Tamarac rollover accidents is even higher.

5) Driver errors. A driver may make mistakes, such as driving too fast for a specific road or noticing that cargo is incorrectly secured but not asking handlers to rearrange or re-secure the cargo.

6) Falling cargo. In some instances, cargo falls from a truck or spills onto the road. In some cases, this causes secondary Tamarac car accidents. More seriously, in cases where a truck is carrying flammable or toxic chemicals, a spill can cause a fire or serious environmental disaster, threatening homes and businesses over a large area.

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September 27, 2012

Defensive Driving Can Prevent a Miami Gardens Truck Accident

In 2011, 9 out of 13 accidents involved a truck. No matter where you drive and how often you drive, the reality is that you need to be able to share the road safely with trucks if you hope to avoid a Miami Gardens traffic accident. According to experts, defensive driving – or driving with an eye to noticing hazards and preventing accidents – is the best way to prevent a Miami Gardens truck accident. There are many ways that you can drive defensively on the roads:

1) Pay attention. The first step of defensive driving is awareness. When approaching a truck, you need to be aware of it and its limitations. Trucks are much larger and drive differently when compared with passenger cars. They have more blind spots and take longer to brake, for example, making it very dangerous to drive right behind a truck.

2) Stay visible and let trucks pass you. To avoid a Miami Gardens car accident, keep in mind that truck drivers can only see you when you can see the driver. Stay out of trucks’ blind spots and let trucks pass you rather than driving near or immediately behind trucks.

3) If you have a car emergency or cannot put your full focus on the road, pull over and put your flashers on. Most truck drivers are responsible and careful on the roads, but each year Miami Gardens traffic accidents are caused by distracted truck drivers and car drivers. If you need to make a phone call or if your tire suddenly blows, pull over as much as you can to get out of the way of traffic. To make yourself visible to oncoming traffic, use your flashers or other signals.

4) Stay calm and focused. When driving, make sure that there are no distractions and try to avoid driving when you are upset. Driving is emotionally draining and can even be physically tiring. It is an activity that requires all of your attention. If you are upset or distracted, let someone else drive you.

5) Prepare for the unexpected when sharing the road with trucks. Delivery trucks may need to stop suddenly and commercial trucks sometimes blow a tire or experience brake failure. In many cases, truck drivers are making deliveries to areas they may not be familiar with, and this may mean that they are looking for street signs and numbers, possibly slowing down unexpectedly. When driving near trucks, keep in mind that they may do something you don’t expect – and it is up to you to respond quickly to avoid a Miami Gardens truck collision.

6) Brush up your driver skills with a defensive driving class. If it has been some time since you took a driver’s training class, especially, brushing up on your skills can help you correct any bad habits and learn new skills to stay safe on the roads.

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September 25, 2012

Road Safe America Offers Top Tips for Preventing a Hollywood Truck Accident

Road Safe America is an organization dedicated to raising awareness about road safety. The group offers a number of tips to help drivers prevent truck collisions:

1) Be aware that trucks behave very differently than cars and use extra caution when driving near them on the road. Trucks take longer to brake, for example, and some types of trucks may make frequent or unexpected stops. Be prepared for the unexpected when driving near trucks, and give trucks extra room to maneuver in order to help prevent a Hollywood truck collision.

2) Be aware of the blind spots around trucks and stay out of them. According to Road Safe American, one third of all accidents involving passenger cars and commercial trucks occur because the smaller car is in the truck’s blind spot. A good rule of thumb is that if you cannot see the truck driver, the driver cannot see you. A commercial truck has large blind spots to either size and behind the truck. To prevent a Hollywood car accident, stay out of these zones.

3) When a truck is turning right, do not pass the truck on the right. The truck can swing wide, causing an underride accident.

4) Do not cut off any truck or bus. If you are passing a large vehicle, make sure that you can see the entire car in your rear-view mirror before you attempt to get in the lane in front of the truck. Trucks and buses take longer to brake and may not be able to stop in time to prevent a Hollywood traffic accident if you cut them off.

5) In bad conditions and on higher-speed roads, give trucks at least seconds of space. Due to the size and force of trucks, slick road conditions can make it even harder for trucks to brake.

6) If you see a truck driver driving dangerously, call the police. Reckless and aggressive truck drivers are a huge danger on the road, as their vehicles can cause devastating damage. Calling in a dangerous driver can help save lives.

7) Be aware of your own blind spots. While the blind spots on a passenger car are much smaller than the blind spots on a truck, they are enough to cause a serious Hollywood bicycle accident, pedestrian accident, or traffic accident. Get into the habit of checking your blind spots regularly, to ensure that you are aware of what is around you.

8) Be in good physical condition for driving. Getting adequate rest and food is important, as is being in good physical and mental condition. While most of us take driving for granted, it is a taxing activity – and one of the most dangerous things we do every day. Driving tired or while in poor health can be as dangerous as driving drunk, so make sure you are fit to drive before you get behind the wheel.

9) Never drive distracted. Distracted driving is the cause of many Hollywood traffic collisions. If you have to make a call, change a CD, or send a text, wait until you get to your destination or pull over first.

10) Slow down when in construction zones. There are usually more pedestrians and trucks in these areas, and construction can create dangerous traffic delays as well. Use extra caution in these areas.

11) Keep your vehicle in good condition. When your car responds as you expect, it is easier for you to drive defensive and to act when needed to prevent a crash.

Continue reading "Road Safe America Offers Top Tips for Preventing a Hollywood Truck Accident" »

September 19, 2012

Preventing Forklift Truck Accidents in Miami

Forklift trucks are used in a variety of settings, including warehouses, construction, and other sites. Unfortunately, Miami truck accidents involving these types of trucks are quite common, and these Miami workplace accidents can cause devastating injuries. Forklift accidents can lead to Miami head injuries, spinal cord trauma, and even fatalities. According to experts, there are four basic ways to prevent these types of accidents:

1) Risk assessment. Companies using forklift trucks need to carefully investigate the possible dangers of their operations and find ways to reduce the risks of a Miami truck accident. There should be a written plan outlining the possible risks and the steps possible to reduce the risks of a workplace accident.

2) Daily checks by drivers and employees. Employees should check forklifts daily and should be instructed how to perform basic checks. If any employee notices any problems with a forklift, there should be a clear and known system for reporting the problem and there should be a streamlined way for the problem to be handled quickly and effectively. Forklifts with known issues should not be used until they are repaired. Daily checks not only help prevent Miami truck accidents, but they can also help prevent lawsuits against the company.

3) Training. Forklift operators should be carefully screened and trained to operate the trucks correctly. If employees are not correctly trained, the company can be held liable for any Miami traffic accidents that occur due to incorrect education or forklift experience. Employers may wish to provide follow-up or refresher training regularly for employees, especially if newer forklift trucks are purchased or used. Many forklift accidents are caused by operator error or inexperience, so proper training is a must.

4) Correct maintenance. Many forklift accidents are caused by poor forklift maintenance. Like any truck, forklifts need to be carefully maintained by an experienced mechanic so that the machines work correctly. Forklifts in poor condition should be replaced by newer models. Keeping forklifts in good condition can also help save the company money over time, since correctly maintained trucks are more efficient, allow for maximum productivity, and last longer than poorly-maintained machines.

Forklift operators, employees, and the business owning forklifts all have a responsibility to make forklifts a safe part of the workplace. When companies are negligent in providing a safe workplace and a forklift truck accident takes place, injured employees can pursue a Miami personal injury case to seek compensation for lost wages, medical costs, and other expenses related to the injury.

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September 11, 2012

Preventing Utility Truck Accidents in Miami Beach

Miami Beach truck accidents claim lives each year. These types of Miami Beach traffic accidents are a concern for everyone, but especially for workers who need to use trucks as part of their work. For utility workers, for example, truck accidents are real concern. Utility companies rely on trucks in order to get to sites where work must be done. Trucks also help utility workers reach telephone wires and other equipment for repairs.

Unfortunately, the trucks also pose a hazard for workers. Workers can easily sustain Miami Beach workplace accidents when working on utility trucks. In some cases, workers are pinned under trucks or are involved in rollover accidents where brakes fail or are not engaged properly. Utility workers are also at risk of Miami Beach pedestrian accidents, since they must often get out of their truck and work nearby to fix telephone lines and other utility equipment near the roads. To prevent these types of accidents in the future, there is much that can be done:

1) Encourage drivers to drive distraction-free. Although texting and driving is not illegal in Florida, employers can ask their employees to not text and drive. Texting and driving increase the risk of Miami Beach car accidents and can be costly to utility companies as well. Educating drivers and workers about the dangers of distracted driving can help utility companies ensure that employees stay safe on the roads.

2) Educate motorists about the importance of giving utility workers room. Many motorists know that when they see emergency personnel or law enforcement authorities stopped on the side of the road, they should provide more room for these workers to get their job done. An education campaign showing the dangers utility workers face could be useful in showing motorists the importance of giving utility trucks and utility workers more room.

3) Offer utility workers additional training, including simulation training. Utility workers get extensive training before being allowed to drive a truck. Ensuring that drivers are routinely given refresher courses is one way to consistently evaluate and upgrade driving skills, reducing the risk of Miami Beach truck accidents. With simulators, it is easier than ever to offer additional training in a hands-on, low-risk way. Today’s HD simulators mimic real-life road conditions in real-time, allowing drivers to learn how to cope with a variety of driving conditions and situations. These systems are especially useful in helping drivers identify – and avoid – hazards and possible collision scenarios safely.

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August 30, 2012

Cars, Bicycles, and Trucks Share the Responsibility for Hialeah Traffic Accidents

In order to prevent Hialeah traffic accidents, bicyclists, motorists, and truck drivers all share the responsibility for safe driving. Pedestrians can help prevent accidents by avoiding jaywalking and distracted driving. Good visibility is also important in preventing Hialeah pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians can help by wearing highly visible clothing and by carrying flashlights at night, so that drivers can see them. In some cases, Hialeah pedestrian accidents are caused when pedestrians walk out in front of cars where motorists are not expecting pedestrians. Trying to cross at intersections and making good eye contact with the motorist before crossing road can help ensure that drivers and pedestrians are working together to prevent accidents.

Truck drivers can help prevent accidents by taking care of themselves and their truck. Ensuring that a truck is in good shape is important, but so is getting adequate rest and care. Truck drivers are subject to many federal regulations designed to help prevent truck accidents. To help prevent more Hialeah truck accidents, drivers can ensure that they follow all federal regulations carefully and report any truck carriers who violate regulations and laws. Statistically, truck drivers are safer than most motorists on the road, simply because they have extensive training and experience. However, additional training and careful adherence to the laws can help make truck drivers even safer.

Motorists can also help prevent Hialeah car accidents by honing their skills and avoiding distracted driving. While Florida does not have any texting bans in place, motorists can help prevent many Hialeah traffic accidents by refusing to drive distracted and by putting away their mobile devices before getting in their car. Although it is not illegal to use a mobile device while driving in Florida, many research studies have proven that distracted driving is a key cause of many traffic accidents. In addition to avoiding distracted driving, Florida motorists can also help prevent Hialeah traffic accidents by avoiding drunk driving and fatigued driving, both of which are also extremely dangerous on the roads.

Bicyclists can also help prevent Hialeah bicycle accidents by obeying traffic laws and by staying visible when riding. Bicyclists can help prevent injuries by wearing a helmet and by riding with their full focus on the road.

Anyone can do their part in preventing Hialeah bicycle accidents and car accidents by ensuring that the roads are as safe as possible. If you notice laws or roadways that could be changed to make the streets safer, contact your elected representative and write a letter to the editor of your newspaper. Seeking to change laws and street design, where needed, can help make the streets safer for everyone.

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August 28, 2012

Roadway Work Zone Miami Truck Accidents

Roadway work zones are dangerous sites for both motorists and the workers repairing infrastructure. Roadway work is an important job creator and helps keep streets in good condition, but this type of construction and repair work does mean traffic congestion, traffic diversion, and, all too often, Miami car accidents and truck accidents.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, fatal traffic accidents in construction and roadway work areas declined from 716 to 667 between 2008 and 2009. However, Florida – along with California and Texas – still lead the nation when it comes to traffic accident fatalities in these zones. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 101 workers were killed in work zones in 2008. In 2009, that number was 116 and in 2010 it was 103. Florida ranked second in the nation when it came to workers killed in work zones. Of work zone worker deaths in 2010, traffic and transportation accidents were responsible for 72% of worker fatalities.

Between 2003 and 2007, 639 US workers were killed on roadway construction sites. During the same years, there were 8,103 fatalities in the larger construction industry. About half of the roadway construction worker deaths were caused by a vehicle or construction equipment striking a worker.

Obviously, more needs to be done to prevent these types of Miami workplace accidents. There are many things that drivers can do to prevent accidents in construction and roadwork zones:

1) Listen to traffic reports if you will be driving and try to avoid roadwork zones if it is possible to do so. In many cases, you can avoid the traffic – and the possibility of a collision – simply by avoiding the construction site entirely. You will be more likely to arrive at your destination on time relaxed, too.

2) If you do need to pass through a roadwork zone, slow down and obey all signs. Slowing down is important because it is the only way to ensure that you see visual cues on time and can respond in time to avoid a Miami pedestrian accident or car accident. Keep in mind that there will be obstacles, workers, and traffic in the area, and pedestrians and vehicles may be unpredictable in construction zones. Workers may walk out between cars, for example, or trucks working on site may back up without warning. Slowing down and preparing yourself for the unexpected reduces your risk of an accident.

3) Never driver distracted or under the influence. You need to be able to focus fully on the road in front of you. Any distractions – including passengers, music, or a mobile device – can be deadly in a workplace zone. One of the most common distractions at a roadwork site is the site itself. Try to resist checking out the work, as curiosity and rubbernecking often cause accidents at roadway work sites.

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August 23, 2012

US and Florida Truck Accident Statistics

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), approximately 500 000 trucking accidents occur across the country each year. In addition:

- One out of eight fatal traffic accidents is a truck accident, with about 5000 truck accidents each year resulting in fatalities.

-In trucking accidents (including Miami trucking accidents) involving tractor trailers, 98% of fatal injuries occur to pedestrians or passengers of passenger vehicles – not to the passengers of the trucks.

-68% of fatal truck collisions in 2008 occurred in rural areas. What this means is that while Miami traffic accidents involving trucks are common, truck accidents outside the city limits may be even more deadly.

-In 2003, 78% of all US fatal truck accidents took place during weekends and 66% of all fatal collisions took place during daylight hours, not at night.

According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS):

- There were 3,867 large trucks involved in non-fatal accidents in Florida in 2010.
-In Florida in 2010, there were 2,484 large trucks involved in traffic accidents causing injury.
-In Florida in 2010 there were 3,545 injuries reported in truck accidents.

Miami sees its fair share of truck accidents, and according to the experts there is something that everyone can do to help prevent these types of Miami traffic accidents. For example, many Miami car accidents involving trucks occur due to driver error. To prevent this, drivers can write to their elected representatives to encourage legislation that promotes good training and hiring practices for truck companies. Truck carriers already need to abide by many federal rules and regulations, but when truck carriers take the care to hire the best drivers and to train them properly, the streets are a little safer.

Drivers can also ensure that they do all they can to prevent Miami car accidents and truck accidents. If you drive a passenger car, you can take defensive driving lessons and refresher lessons to ensure that your driving skills are excellent – this can even help you save on insurance. You can also driver sober and un-distracted and take care to check blind spots. If you are following behind a commercial truck, give the truck plenty of room, since trucks take longer to brake than most vehicles. Following too closely is also dangerous because the truck driver cannot see you if you are tailgating.

Continue reading "US and Florida Truck Accident Statistics " »

August 16, 2012

Obesity and Fort Lauderdale Truck Accidents: Is There a Connection?

Fort Lauderdale truck accidents can be caused by a number of factors, including mechanical problems, driver errors, poor road design, and even the weather. However, there is a growing number of experts who believe that driver health can be a serious risk when it comes to Fort Lauderdale traffic accidents as well. Drivers who are overweight and obese are at an increased risk to develop many types of conditions that can be dangerous behind the wheel:

1) Sleep Apnea. Sleep apnea sufferers stop breathing momentarily in their sleep and may therefore wake up repeatedly throughout the night. Those who have sleep apnea are likely to experience extreme fatigue during the day, even when they do sleep. This makes them extremely dangerous as drivers, as they can drift off or fall asleep behind the wheel.

2) Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes sufferers need to watch what they eat and need to maintain a good blood sugar level, usually by using insulin. Diabetes sufferers are prone to dizziness and other symptoms when their blood sugar is not regulated. For a truck driver, a bout of dizziness or loss of consciousness can cause a devastating Fort Lauderdale traffic accident.

3) Heart problems. Obesity can lead to high blood pressure, blocked arteries, heart attacks, heart failure, and other cardiac-related problems. Unfortunately, if someone suffers from a cardiac event while driving, the results can be devastating. In the future, there may be technology in place to prevent this type of situation. Toyota, for example, is designing a steering wheel that has a built-in electrocardiogram (ECG) which will be able to detect arrhythmia and heart attacks in drivers. The steering wheel will have contact sensors that will be in contact with the driver’s hands to detect any abnormal rhythm. The data would be displayed on the navigation screen in the car. Ford is also reportedly working on a car seat with a heart monitor. It is not yet known when either car manufacturer will make these features available in trucks and cars. In the meantime, it is up to drivers to maintain their health and to control any chronic health conditions.

4) Strokes. Obesity can lead to high blood pressure, which in turn can put a patient at an increased risk of strokes. Even a minor stroke can leave a driver confused and unable to drive a car. A serious stroke will generally affect motor skills and will cause a sufferer to lose consciousness. If this happens on the road, a Fort Lauderdale car accident is the result.

Unfortunately, a truck driver’s job can make them susceptible to obesity and weight gain. Truck drivers lead a sedentary lifestyle, sitting down to drive. In many cases, they work long hours which may not permit them to exercise often. In addition, truck drivers are often on the road, which means they may end up eating fast food and not having access to a gym. Today, many truck drivers are aware of the risks and many are taking steps to lead healthier lifestyles. However, the nature of the job does mean that drivers have to work a little harder to lead healthier lives.

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August 14, 2012

Common Causes of Miami Beach Truck Accidents

There are many causes of Miami Beach truck accidents, but the most common ones are:

1) Speeding. When truck drivers speed, they are likely to lose control of their trucks. It is an especial concern with commercial trucks, which take longer to stop than passenger vehicles. A truck driver who is speeding may not leave themselves enough time to stop safely.

2) Overloaded commercial trucks. An over-loaded commercial truck is dangerous since the extra weight places additional pressure on the tires and the brakes, making brake failure and tire blowouts more common.

3) Fatigue or drowsy driving. Fatigued truck drivers may not respond in time to avoid a Miami beach car accident. In some cases, tired drivers may simply fall asleep at the wheel and careen into an oncoming lane or off the road entirely.

4) Violations of safety rules. Commercial truck drivers must obey a range of federal rules which have been designed to keep roads safe. These rules include restrictions on how long drivers can drive without breaks and rules about checking the condition of the truck.

5) Incorrectly maintained trucks. Both truck carriers and truck drivers are responsible for maintenance tasks and for reporting and dealing with any maintenance issues. When a correct maintenance schedule is not adhered to and when trucks are not carefully checked over, it is more likely that major systems such as brakes or the engine will fail, which can lead to a Miami Beach traffic accident. Since commercial trucks are on the road so long, they tend to see more wear and tear than other vehicles, making proper maintenance all the more important.

6) Lack of a rear guard. A rear guard is designed to prevent a common type of Miami Beach car accident known as an underride accident. This type of Miami Beach car accident involves a car sliding underneath the trailer. When this happens, fatalities and serious injuries are sally the result since the smaller car is often crushed or dragged under the larger truck.

7) Incorrectly secured loads. When cargo is not correctly secured, it can cause the cargo to shift or move while a truck is on the road, which can cause the truck driver to lose control.
8) Tire defects and other problems, which can lead to tire blowouts.

9) Drunk driving or driving under the influence. Miami Beach drunk driving accidents are always devastating, but they can be especially likely to lead to serious injuries and fatalities when large trucks are involved.

10) Incorrect stop on the side of the road. When truck drivers pull over to the side of the road, it is important that they do not obstruct traffic and it is important that the truck remains visible, to prevent other vehicles from colliding with the parked truck.

11) Reckless or aggressive driving.

In many cases, a Miami Beach truck accident can be caused by several factors. It is important to work with a Miami Beach personal injury attorney to find the causes behind the accident that has injured you. Finding all possible causes can mean finding multiple liable parties, which can increase the chances of a fair settlement – one that pays for lost income, medical bills, and other costs related to your accident.

Continue reading "Common Causes of Miami Beach Truck Accidents" »

August 9, 2012

North Miami Truck Accidents: Understanding Underride Accidents

North Miami truck accidents tend to be devastating, especially when they involve the collision of a larger commercial truck and a smaller passenger vehicle. There are many types of truck accidents, including rear-end accidents, head-on collisions, side-swipe accidents and many others. One of the most devastating types of North Miami traffic accidents, however, is the underride accident. This occurs when a smaller vehicle slides under the trailer of a larger commercial truck. There are many reasons why this happens. It can occur because a car does not stop in time when following behind a truck. It can also occur when a vehicle switches lanes and an error causes the smaller vehicle to end up under the trailer. There are many situations that can lead to this type of accident:

1) Following too closely behind a truck. A common reason for many underride accidents is driver inattention and lack of adequate space. Commercial trucks may take longer to stop than passenger vehicles, but they are also more likely to make unexpected stops. A driver who is following too closely behind a truck and is not paying attention is likely to be in a North Miami car accident if the truck stops suddenly.

2) Incorrect lane changes. If a truck or passenger vehicle change lanes suddenly, without due warning and without checking blind spots, an underride accident can occur quite easily.

3) Failing to see the truck in time. While it seems unlikely that a driver would fail to see a large tractor trailer, it happens all the time. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver expectation is the key reason behind many of these accidents. Quite simply, the driver perceives the truck as moving when it is still or believes that the truck is further than it is, and this causes a collision. Poor visibility, poor lighting on a truck, and a truck pulled over in an emergency lane can all create this type of confusion.

4) Road conditions. Slick roads or poor road construction can make it harder for a smaller vehicle to stop when needed, and this can mean that a vehicle is propelled towards and under a truck in front of them. Speeding can contribute to the problem and can make this type of accident even more likely.

No matter how underride accidents occur, this type of North Miami car accident is always devastating. There is a high fatality rate for this type of accident, as the car under the truck will almost always be severely damaged, causing severe injuries to those inside. The top of the passenger car involved in an underride accident will often be crushed or partially sliced off. Passengers in the car are likely to suffer severe North Miami head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other life-threatening injuries. Removing the victims can be extremely difficult for emergency responders and can cause further injury to the passengers trapped inside the car.

Continue reading "North Miami Truck Accidents: Understanding Underride Accidents" »

August 7, 2012

Why it is Important to Consult with an Attorney After an Aventura Truck Accident

If you have been in a serious Aventura traffic accident, such as a truck accident, it is a very good idea to speak to an Aventura personal injury attorney who specializes in truck accidents. While it is possible to handle the matter without going to an attorney, there are many reasons why an attorney is important:

1) Insurance companies and truck carriers are often looking for an inexpensive and fast settlement, while an attorney will look for a fair settlement for you. It is often a mistake to settle too quickly and it is certainly a mistake to settle for a compensation or claims amount without speaking to an attorney. An attorney can help you understand the total costs of your injuries and can help you ask the questions you need to ask in order to get fair compensation. In addition, you may not even understand the full extent of your injuries until you have spoken to medical specialists and an attorney can work with you to ensure that you have a very thorough investigation of your injuries.

2) Aventura personal injury attorneys can advise you of your rights. In many cases, you may not know all the Florida laws which protect you after an accident. An experienced attorney can help you understand the law as it applies to your specific case and can help you understand what options you have, so that you can make an informed choice.

3) An Aventura traffic accident attorney can investigate the cause of the accident and find all liable parties. This can be important in clearing your name and ensuring that you are not blamed for an accident that was not your fault. Finding all liable parties is also important in getting a fair settlement – one that covers as many of your costs as possible.

4) An Aventura personal injury attorney has worked with others in your situation and can help advise you about next steps. An attorney may steer you towards the medical help and the resources that are available, since many attorneys have worked with accident victims before and are aware of the options available for injuries.

5) Speaking with an Aventura personal injury attorney does not mean filing a lawsuit. An attorney can advise you of your rights, offer advice about a claims offer, review the terms of your insurance policy, help negotiate with your insurance company, and more. If you do decide to pursue a legal claim, an attorney can also obviously help with that. If you are concerned about costs, keep in mind that many attorneys offer an initial free consultation and are even willing to work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not have to pay your legal costs until and unless you win in court or reach an out-of-court settlement.

6) Most truck accidents involve commercial vehicles. This can make Aventura truck accidents more complex than car accidents, since insurance companies working for truck carriers usually have plenty of resources and are looking to resolve claims with as little cost as possible. Working with an attorney ensures that there is someone on your side looking out for your rights.

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August 2, 2012

Treating a Fort Lauderdale Spinal Cord Injury After a Truck Accident

One of the most common causes of serious Fort Lauderdale spinal cord injuries is traffic accidents. The impact of a Fort Lauderdale car accident or truck accident is enough to twist the body and cause a severe enough impact to cause a spinal cord injury. In some Fort Lauderdale truck accidents, a person is thrown from a vehicle, pinned under a vehicle, or is injured when an object comes into sharp contact the back. In any of these cases, a serious spinal injury can occur.

If you have been in a Fort Lauderdale traffic accident and you suspect that someone at the scene has sustained a spinal injury, contact 911 immediately. A spinal cord injury is a medical emergency. In some cases, patients are paralyzed in such a way that their hearts stop beating or they stop breathing. Medical help is required right away. Even if a patient is breathing on their own, immediate medical assistance can increase the possibility that the patient will recover some mobility. If you suspect a spinal cord injury, however, it is important not to move the victim at the scene without instructions from medical personnel. Moving someone who has sustained a traumatic spinal injury can make the injury worse.

Once a Fort Lauderdale spinal cord injury patient is attended to by emergency medical personnel, the first thing that emergency responders will do is to check the patient’s heart and breathing. If the injury is to the upper neck area, the patient may need a ventilator, breathing tube, or other help to breathe.

Once the patient is breathing normally, emergency responders will immobilize the patient, often by using a backboard or a cervical collar. Since further movement can cause the injury to become worse, these devices ensure that the patient will not move en route to the hospital.

Once in the hospital, doctors will evaluate the injury and offer immediate treatment, which will depend on the severity and type of injury. In many cases, patients will be given steroid-based medications to reduce swelling and inflammation near the spinal cord, both of which can make the injury worse. Usually, steroids need to be administered within eight hours of the injury.
Doctors will also usually decide on surgery and on further immobilization devices to attempt to reduce any risk of further damage to the spinal cord. Patients may be placed in a halo device or in traction, for example. If surgery is needed, it is usually to stabilize the spine and to reduce any pressure on the spinal cord. To this end, surgery for a Fort Lauderdale spinal cord injury may involve removing some parts of the vertebrae or anything else that may be compressing the spine. It can also involve placing plates, screws, and rods on the vertebrae to keep them stable while the bones heal.

Once these immediate treatment options are exhausted, most Fort Lauderdale spinal cord injury patients can expect a long road to healing. The next steps in treatment usually involve rehabilitation as well as treatment of any complications. Rehabilitation and counseling will help patients recover as much mobility as possible and adjust to life with new mobility issues. Fort Lauderdale spinal cord injury patients are also prone to blood clots, pneumonia, incontinence, urinary tract infections, chronic pain, muscle spasms, depression, sores, and other problems. Part of the treatment, therefore, is to identify and treat these problems as they arise.

Continue reading "Treating a Fort Lauderdale Spinal Cord Injury After a Truck Accident" »

July 31, 2012

Miami Truck Accidents Involving Forklift Trucks

Forklift trucks are powered industrial trucks designed to carry pallets and items for loading. They are used in retail spaces, warehouses, during truck loading, in construction, and in many other applications. According to OSHA, forklift truck accidents cause tens of thousands of injuries annually, many of them workplace injuries. Since Miami is a city with many businesses and industries, it sees its share of these types of Miami truck accidents. In fact, forklift injuries contribute to some Miami workers compensation claims each year.

Forklift truck accidents can occur due to driver error. In many cases, these errors may be caused by distraction or poor training. Some forklift truck accidents can be caused by mechanical errors. For example, hitches may fail to work correctly or another key system may malfunction. Environmental or situational issues also account for some of these accidents. For example, forklift accidents may be caused by a slippery driving surface, by an unstable dock, by another vehicle, by narrow aisles or inadequate space, and by many other preventable factors.

These types of Miami truck accidents often lead to serious Miami personal injuries, including spinal cord injuries, broken bones, amputations, and head injuries. These accidents can also cause property damage, lost productivity, and suffering.

OSHA has implemented a program to reduce industrial truck fatalities in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama. Through September 30, 2012, OSHA will be raising awareness about injuries caused by these types of truck accidents and will be encouraging employers to prevent these truck accidents by creating a safer workplace.

There are many things that employers can do to create a safer workplace and to avoid truck accidents at work. OSHA has an informational website (http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/poweredindustrialtrucks/index.html) that can help employers and workers alike prevent accidents. Employers can also help by ensuring that employees have adequate training to operate forklift trucks. The areas where forklift trucks are used should be kept clear and safe, and should have adequate lighting as well as adequate space for forklift truck operators to maneuver the vehicles safely. Employers can also create a work safe policy for forklift truck operation and have this information posted where forklift truck operators can see it. Finally, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that forklift trucks are maintained correctly and are safe to use.

Employees also have a role to play in preventing forklift-related Miami construction accidents and workplace accidents. Employees can ensure that they get adequate training before using a forklift truck. They can also avoid driving distracted and can take steps to ensure that they follow all workplace rules regarding forklift trucks. If employees notice any safety concerns, they should bring them to the immediate attention of a supervisor, manager, or employer so that the issue can be fixed.

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July 26, 2012

Getting Back Behind the Wheel After a Hollywood Truck Accident

Few Hollywood traffic accidents are as traumatic as a truck accident. Each year, Hollywood truck accidents cause devastating injuries, including Hollywood head injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, broken bones, and even fatal injuries. After a serious Hollywood car accident involving a truck, you may not only have physical injuries, but you may find it difficult to drive again. Many people who are seriously injured in a serious traffic accident have a hard time getting back behind the wheel. There are many things you can do if you are one of them:

1) Take is slow. It is perfectly normal to be anxious about driving again after being involved in a devastating Hollywood truck accident. Give yourself time to recover and give yourself time to get used to the idea of driving again. In the meantime, consider other forms of transportation. Getting behind the wheel before you are ready can be a mistake.

2) Get medical help. If you have suffered serious injuries, make sure that you get the best treatment possible for those injuries and follow doctor’s orders about resuming everyday tasks. If you have suffered a serious injury, it may take weeks or months before you are recovered enough to drive again. Ask your doctor when you can start to drive again.

3) Get answers. In many cases, survivors of a serious Hollywood motorcycle accident or truck accident fear getting back behind the wheel because they worry that they caused an accident. Finding out what exactly caused an accident can be very important for recovery. Speaking with a Hollywood personal injury attorney can help you get answers and may be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries, so that you have the financial resources you need to heal as fully as possible.

4) Consider support options. If you are physically well enough to drive but find yourself unduly anxious about driving weeks or months after your accident, consider speaking to a counselor, therapist, or support group. It can help you deal with the many emotions that may still be troubling you after your Hollywood traffic accident.

5) Find ways to drive safer. It can be empowering for you to take charge and find ways to drive safer. If you were in a Hollywood drunk driving accident, for example, you may wish to consider joining an organization that raises awareness about the dangers of drunk driving. You may also wish to consider refreshing your driving skills to feel more confident on the road or you may consider adding safety features to your car to reduce the risk of an accident. While you may not be able to prevent accidents caused by someone’s negligence, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of a car crash and to feel better about driving.

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July 24, 2012

What to Do – And What to Avoid – After a South Miami Truck Accident

The upset of a South Miami truck accident can be enormous, especially if there is someone injured in the accident. However, the steps you take immediately after an accident can determine your options later on. According to experts, after a South Miami traffic accident, it is important to:

1) Remain calm. While it is normal to panic after a serious South Miami motorcycle accident or truck accidents, you need to focus in order to help others and yourself.

2) If anyone is injured, call for emergency help. Assist others at the scene. If you are trapped in your car, turn on the hazard lights to indicate that you need help.

3) If you are in danger of obstructing traffic and no one has been seriously injured, pull over to the side of the road. Florida law demands it and if your failure to get away from the road causes a secondary South Miami car accident, there could be more injuries.

4) Exchange information with the truck driver involved. Get their license information, address, phone number, name, insurance and truck carrier company name as well as the number of the vehicle. Get the names and contact information of any emergency personnel or witnesses on the scene.

5) Take photos of the accident scene and surrounding area if at all possible – and as soon as possible after the accident. Even photos from a cell phone can be helpful. Photos can help attorneys and insurance carriers determine exactly what happened and what factors – including weather or road conditions – could have contributed to the South Miami traffic collision.

6) Contact your insurance company. If you are injured, contact a personal injury attorney as well. Your insurance company can help you start a claim while a South Miami personal injury attorney can protect your rights and ensure that you get the fairest compensation possible for your injuries. It is important to call soon after your injury, as both insurance carriers and attorneys will want to gather evidence in the case and evidence tends to disappear quickly after the clean up after an accident.

7) Avoid moving anyone at the scene who has been injured. In some cases, South Miami brain injury and spinal injury patients may actually be hurt more if they are moved. Wait for emergency personnel for help.

8) Stay at the scene of the accident until the matter is resolved. If police are on the scene, wait until they tell you to leave. If the accident is relatively minor, stay until you have offered help to anyone who needs it and have exchanged all important license and contact information with the other drivers.

9) Avoid accepting cash from the other driver in lieu of an insurance claim.

10) Avoid signing any documents until you have had them reviewed by a South Miami personal injury attorney. Just sign the police report and wait for legal advice before signing any papers from an attorney, insurance claimant, or the other driver or their employer.

11) Avoid getting your car repaired at once. If you decide to file a claim, your insurance carrier or a personal injury attorney may need to look at the vehicle to assess the damage.

Continue reading "What to Do – And What to Avoid – After a South Miami Truck Accident" »

July 19, 2012

Common Mistakes After a Hollywood Truck Accident

Being in a serious Hollywood traffic accident can be frightening and upsetting, and this is even more so if you are involved in a Hollywood truck accident. The accident generally will take place in just a few seconds and while you are still reeling you may need to deal with the other driver, witnesses, police, insurance company employees, emergency personnel, and others, all asking you questions. Many people injured in Hollywood car accidents and truck accidents make a few key mistakes immediately after the accident, and these mistakes can adversely affect the chances of recovering fair compensation for any injuries:

1) Saying “I am sorry” or making any simple admission of fault. It may feel natural to apologize after an accident, but this simple statement can adversely affect your claim. It may be seen as an admission of fault by the other driver and by the insurance company. These simple words may be held against you, so after a Hollywood truck accident, stick to the facts and exchange information. Keep in mind that immediately after an accident is may be impossible to determine fault. It can take professional investigators some time to determine what caused an accident, so avoid jumping to conclusions.

2) Not contacting police and insurance carriers right away. If anyone is seriously injured or you believe that the other driver may be under the influence, it is important to contact the police and file a report. Failure to do so can create problems down the line if you decide to file a claim. In addition, many people assume that if they contact their insurance company, their rates will increase. However, contacting your insurance company to ask for advice does not mean that you have to file a claim.

3) Signing documents too quickly. After a Hollywood motorcycle accident or car accident involving a truck, it is common to get a claim offer quite quickly. The insurance companies working for truck carriers and truck driver unions are quite powerful and often want to resolve claims quickly. However, it is important to avoid signing anything until you have had a chance to discuss the document with an attorney, or you may end up signing away some of your rights to fair compensation. After a Hollywood truck accident, the only thing you should be signing is a police report.

4) Failing to speak with a personal injury attorney if a serious injury has occurred. If your injury is serious and will result in medical costs and lost income, it is important to speak to an experienced Hollywood personal injury attorney. An attorney with experience in truck accident claims can help you understand your rights and the likely total costs of your injuries, which can make it easier for you to understand how much your claim may be worth. This can be substantially higher than the claim amount being offered to you. An experienced attorney can launch a claim for you or can negotiate with insurance carriers on your behalf so that you get fairer compensation to help pay for your injuries.

5) Failing to document. After an accident, it is vital to exchange as much information as possible with the other driver or drivers involved. It is also important to take photos of the accident scene and surrounding areas and to get contact information for witnesses. Getting copies of medical reports is also helpful. The more information you gather, the easier it can be for an attorney to help you find all liable parties and the answers you need.

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July 17, 2012

Can Red Light Cameras Prevent Miami Truck Accidents and Car Accidents?

Some experts believe that installing red light cameras can help prevent serious Miami car accidents and traffic accidents because these cameras push drivers to slow down – even when no police are present. If drivers are caught speeding on camera, they get a traffic ticket. Red light cameras are used around the country and throughout the world. Manufacturers of the cameras claim that they reduce accidents, save lives, and even help communities save money by freeing police up for more important duties. In addition, the revenues from tickets generated from the cameras go towards the city.

The premise behind red light cameras is simple. The cameras are installed above intersections and they are programmed to take photos in situations where a car speeds through an intersection. When this happens, the camera takes a photo of the car’s license plate number and the system sends the owner of the car a ticket. The revenue from the tickets are shared between the makers of the cameras and the city. Today’s red light camera manufacturers can also create cameras that can automatically detect other traffic violations, including illegal turns.

Those who support the use of red light cameras claim that the cameras ensure that drivers are caught when they break the rules and are held accountable – whether or not a police officer is nearby. The idea is that the cameras are always on, ensuring that no one can speed through a designated intersection.

Those who oppose the cameras, however, say that there is evidence that these cameras may not be as useful in preventing accidents as many believe. For example, after red light cameras were installed at intersections in Australia, the number of accidents increased. At one intersection in Windang, average yearly collisions increased by over 200% while at another intersection in Figtree accidents increased by over 100% after red light cameras were installed.

According to experts at the Monash University Accident Research Centre, the increases in accidents may be caused by a number of reasons. First, some drivers may go through the intersection at normal speeds while other drivers may slow down speeds significantly in the presence of a red light camera, and the variance in speeds can lead to accidents. Research has suggested that it is variance in speeds, rather than speeding alone, that is most likely to lead to an accident. Another problem is that drivers may feel additional pressure and stress when entering an intersection with a red light camera, and this can prove distracting, possibly leading to a Miami traffic accident. Drivers may be more focused on the camera and on their speed, for example, rather than on their driving.

There may be other possible problems with the cameras. For example, some drivers have successfully contested their tickets in court and most communities cannot afford to have the cameras at every intersection, so that there are still many areas where drivers can speed and cause a Miami motorcycle accident or car accident. Whether or not cameras are installed, it is ultimately up to drivers to work to prevent Miami truck accidents and car accidents.

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July 12, 2012

South Miami Dump Truck Accidents

South Miami truck accidents are always devastating, and dump truck accidents are no different. Dump trucks are used to haul debris, sand, asphalt, and other materials to and from construction sites, mining sites, and other industrial areas. When these vehicles are involved in South Miami car accidents, the results are often devastating. An average 5-axle dump truck can weight more than 65 000 pounds when fully loaded. The size and force of this vehicle during a South Miami traffic accident can easily crush a smaller car or truck.

Another problem with dump truck accidents is that the bumpers on these types of trucks are either left out or placed high for ground clearance. Bumpers are often important in order to prevent override accidents, or South Miami car accidents in which a smaller passenger vehicle slides underneath a dump truck and is either sheared or dragged along until the truck can come to a complete stop. An override accident usually causes devastating injuries, including serious South Miami brain injuries and even fatal injuries, since the passenger vehicle is crushed under the truck.

An additional problem that can lead to dump truck accidents has to do with dump beds. Dump trucks are unique in that they have beds which can be raised in order to remove a load of cargo from the truck. The beds can be raised high enough to give workers access to the area under the dump bed. However, when a dump truck bed crashes unexpected from the raised position, serious South Miami construction accidents and workplace accidents generally occur. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) asks employers to create lockout procedures during the times that employees are working under the dump body of these types of trucks, but not all employers follow these standards. OSHA also suggests using an additional truck bed brace bracket to keep dump truck beds secure when being held in an upright position.

Survivors of dump truck accidents who have sustained a serious injury should consult with an experienced South Miami personal injury attorney soon after their accident. The financial losses of this type of accident can be significant. Injured parties can lose income and face serious medical bills. If the accident has been caused by a wrongful act or by negligence, Florida law permits injured parties to seek a legal claim in order to recover compensation that can help pay for quality medical care and other needed expenses.

Since dump trucks are commercial vehicles, there are often multiple liable parties involved in an accident involving this type of truck. In addition to the driver of the truck, the manufacturer of the truck, contractors, insurance companies, trucking companies, and other liable parties can all be held liable for the accident. Since commercial trucks are held to stricter traffic standards and rules, this can often benefit the victim of a devastating accident. A patient can have a better chance of recovering more of the hospital and medical costs as well as related expenses in situations where there are more liable parties, and this can ensure that an innocent victim is not in a position where they have to make up lost income and large medical costs out of pocket.

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July 5, 2012

Early July Storms Highlight the Dangers of Miami Truck Accidents

Summer storms in the Mid-Atlantic region have caused power outages and Florida Power and Light workers as well as workers from other states have been sent to the area to help restore power. The massive amounts of crews and trucks sent to the area, as well as the damage caused by the storms, however, do increase the risk of truck accidents for utility workers. In fact, Florida resident and utility worker Jacqueline Green was killed earlier in the week as part of her job. Summer storms are a reality for the Florida region, but they can lead to an increase in Miami truck accidents in a number of ways:

1) Downed power lines, debris, and fallen trees can create obstacles that can lead to Miami car accidents and truck accidents. Storms create a lot of damage and this can lead to poor road conditions as well as unexpected obstacles. If possible, stay off the roads during a storm, as poor visibility as well as blowing debris can easily result in a Miami traffic accident. If you need to venture out after a storm, make sure that you stay extra alert for possible obstacles on the road. If you see power lines or trees down, wait until you are pulled over or back home before reporting them.

2) Power outages can lead to malfunctioning traffic signs and lights. This can cause traffic congestion as well as accidents if drivers do not treat an intersection with downed traffic lights as a four-way stop. If traffic signs and lights are not working correctly after a storm, make sure that you yield right of way.

3) Serious storms can lead to more utility trucks on the roads – especially utility trucks from other areas. This can mean more traffic on the road but also more truck drivers who may not be familiar with the area. This can easily lead to Miami car accidents involving these trucks. It is especially a problem since utility workers may need to make frequent stops or may need to park in the middle of the street in order to fix power lines and other utilities. After a serious storm, stay alert for extra truck traffic and give utility trucks extra room to work to restore power.

4) Serious storms can lead to utility work on the roads, resulting in road closures and detours. Utility workers often work around the clock after a storm and are under pressure to get services up and running again. This puts utility workers at risk, especially if they need to work on a busy road. Of you see utility workers trying to restore power or working on lines, slow down, give them extra room and follow any signs you see. Utility workers are at risk of Miami pedestrian accidents on the job, and using extra caution can help keep these workers safe as they restore essential services to the city.

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July 3, 2012

Are We Doing Too Little to Prevent Hollywood Motorcycle Accidents Involving Trucks?

According to a recent report published by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the number of motorcyclist fatalities nationwide remained stagnant between 2010 and 2011. Both years, there were 4500 motorcycle accident fatalities across the country, something that experts claim shows that too little is being done to help prevent these types of accidents. However, there are many things that can be done to help prevent these serious types of traffic casualties:

1) Get stricter about distracted driving. Florida is one of only a few states with no laws against texting and driving or mobile use and driving. Distracted driving of any type has been shown in studies to lead to serious traffic accidents, and the use of texting and mobile devices by drivers is significant. Getting serious about getting rid of distracted driving is important in ensuring that drivers focus on the road.

2) Improve awareness campaigns to help motorists share the road safely with motorcyclists. Motorists need to understand that they need to always give motorcyclists the full lane and never share a lane with motorcyclists. Motorists also need to be made aware about the importance of checking blind spots and mirrors to help prevent Hollywood bicycle accidents and motorcycle accidents. Since motorcycles can stop more quickly than many passenger vehicles, it is important to also alert motorists of the importance of leaving more space when following a motorcyclist.

3) Get tougher about motorcycle accident injuries. In many cases, drivers who cause a serious motorcycle accident are not held accountable. As with Hollywood bicycle accidents, with Hollywood motorcycle accidents, the blame is often placed on the motorcyclist. In many cases, victims need to work with a Hollywood personal injury attorney in order to get answers about what has caused an accident and in order to get the compensation they are entitled to under the law.

4) Write to your elected representative to get traffic safety laws passed to improve safety laws. Better laws can help reduce the risk of Hollywood car accidents and traffic accidents and can ensure that victims of these accidents get the compensation they deserve. If you have an idea about ways to improve the laws, write to your elected representative with your suggestions. Support laws that protect victims and reduce the risk of accidents.

5) Alert your community about any poor road conditions. Slippery surfaces and potholes are far more dangerous for motorcyclists than for most motorists. Keeping roads in good repair can help prevent many types of Hollywood traffic accidents – not just motorcycle collisions.

6) Seek legal help if you have been injured in a Hollywood motorcycle accident or traffic accident. Unfortunately, in some cases liable parties causing accidents only make safety changes if there is legal pressure and a financial reason to do so. Many positive safety changes have occurred because victims have pursued legal action and have held those liable accountable for negligence.

Continue reading "Are We Doing Too Little to Prevent Hollywood Motorcycle Accidents Involving Trucks?" »

June 28, 2012

How One Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident Leads to Others: Secondary Accidents

Everyone knows the devastation that Fort Lauderdale truck accidents can cause. We have all seen the news reports of a tractor-trailer on its side, blocking traffic, caught on fire, and causing devastation on the roadway during rush hour. However, what many people do not realize is that one Lord Lauderdale truck accident is dangerous because it can cause secondary Fort Lauderdale car accidents and traffic accidents. There many reasons why secondary accidents take place:

1) Spills. In cases where a commercial truck is carrying a full load, that cargo may spill during a Fort Lauderdale truck collision. When this occurs, the substance can spill out over the surface of the road, causing obstructions to traffic and possible secondary Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accidents and car accidents. If the substance spilled is toxic or dangerous, breathing in the fumes can cause serious personal injury for any innocent bystander and for any emergency personnel in the area. In cases where the substance is slippery, it can easily lead to slip and fall accidents, cars spinning out of control, and other types of accidents. In situations where the substance is flammable, the result can be a devastating fire and secondary accidents as drivers try to swerve out of the way the flames.

2) Curiosity. Unfortunately, many secondary accidents are completely preventable, and they occur because people slow down to take a look at an accident. While curiosity in the wake of an accident is natural, rubbernecking and slowing down suddenly can lead to even more accidents. If you are driving when you see a Fort Lauderdale truck accident, it is important to stay calm, keep your eyes focused on the road, and to obey the directions of any emergency responders at the scene. Getting out of the way of the accident should be your first priority. If someone is in need of assistance, pull over to the side of the road before calling for emergency help.

3) Blocked roadways. Due to the size of commercial trucks, when they are involved in a Fort Lauderdale traffic accident, they can block off entire lanes of traffic. When this occurs, it can prevent traffic from flowing normally, which can lead to road rage, congestion, and others issues which can lead to a Fort Lauderdale car accident.

4) Fires and structural damage. In some cases, devastating Fort Lauderdale truck accidents can lead to explosions, fires, and collisions that cause road damage and structural damage. This type of damage, when not cleaned up properly, can easily lead to a Fort Lauderdale car accident down the line.

5) Fallout leading to damage to a second vehicle. A truck accident can cause debris to spill on the road or to fly at other cars. In some cases, other cars are struck or are damaged by the debris, and this damage can lead to an accident.

Continue reading "How One Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident Leads to Others: Secondary Accidents" »

June 26, 2012

Causes of Coral Gables Truck Accidents

Coral Gables truck accidents are among the most devastating Coral Gables traffic accidents to occur on the city`s streets. In addition to causing significant injuries, these types of traffic accidents often result in catastrophic damage, and in some cases environmental disaster if the truck was carrying any sort of flammable or dangerous material. In some cases, big rigs block off entire lanes of traffic for hours or cause devastation to city streets. There many possible causes for these types of devastating accidents, and in many cases an accident is caused by a number of factors:

1) Driver fatigue. Commercial truck drivers often work long hours. Although federal laws regulate that commercial truck drivers must take certain amounts of time for rest, in many cases drivers can become fatigued even with adequate rest. This is especially true in cases where drivers must work irregular hours or in cases where drivers have an illness or a condition, such as sleep apnea or insomnia, prevents them from sleeping correctly.

2) Prescription drugs, over-the-counter medication, or illicit drugs. Any type of substance that affects a drivers level of fatigue or motor skills can be potentially dangerous. From simple over-the-counter allergy medication to illicit drugs and prescription medication, many types of drugs have side effects that can be dangerous for commercial drivers.

3) Speeding. An 80,000-pound truck, fully loaded, already has the size and force to do serious damage to a passenger vehicle or any smaller vehicle. When a truck is involved in a Coral Gables motorcycle accident or car accident, the smaller vehicles are often crushed. When speed is a factor, the damage sustained to the smaller vehicle is often devastating and generally leads to fatalities.

4) Unfamiliarity with the route. Commercial truck drivers may have a regular route, but in many cases commercial truck drivers must make deliveries to unfamiliar areas. Being unfamiliar with a street can be challenging for number of reasons. For one thing, drivers may not be aware of hazards that can lead to a Coral Gables traffic accident. Another problem is that drivers who are in an unfamiliar route may be distracted by trying to find a specific location.

5) The driver’s failure to check blind spots properly. Commercial truck drivers are taught to check blind spots regularly. However, when they failed to do so accidents are a common result, especially since commercial trucks have so many blind spots.

6) Driver error. Drivers sometimes underestimate the level of evasive action needed to avoid an accident, or overcompensate in a situation. When drivers make these types of errors, accidents are common result, especially since large trucks cannot break or react as quickly as passenger vehicles.

7) Traffic violation. Running red lights, disobeying traffic signals, and doing other illegal activities on the road easily lead to accidents for any driver.

8) Distracted driving. Roadwork and construction are common distractors, but there are many possible distractions on the road. From mobile devices to other distractions, there are many things that can cause a driver to take their eyes and mind off traffic.

9) Road rage and aggressive driving. Aggressive driving affect all drivers, but when the driver is sitting behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound commercial truck, the results of aggressive driving can be much more devastating.

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May 24, 2012

CSA Data Could Reveal Possible Issues That Lead to Coral Gables Truck Accidents

Gathering information about truck safety and truck accidents is one of the most important ways to help prevent Coral Gables truck accidents as well as truck accidents across the country. Data gathering helps the industry make changes that improve safety. In 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) launched an initiative to gather just this type of data. The Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) program gathers several types of trucking industry data, including many types of data that relate to safety compliance.

In May 2012, new CSA program data was released and it suggested some worrying trends about trucking safety. According to the data, for example, in April 2012 there were 166,810 active commercial carriers in the trucking industry, up 7.5% from the 155,240 registered in 2011. While experts may disagree about the impact of the increase, there may be some concerns about this increase when it comes to Coral Gables traffic accident statistics. More carriers can mean more trucks and therefore more traffic on the roads, which can increase the risk of accidents. More carriers also means more work for authorities charged with ensuring safety compliance. Checking on more carriers may stretch resources even further as authorities aim to ensure compliance for more companies.

Another worrying statistics released by the CSA program involves fatigued driving. The CSA program uses a statistical tool known as Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) scores to evaluate the performance of carriers and drivers. In April 2012, 34% of carriers who were given BASIC scores were found to have an alert for fatigued driving. In most cases, the fatigued driving was caused by violations of Hours of Service (HOS) rules. The fact that there were so many instances of fatigued driving could be bad news for Coral Gables car accidents, since studies have shown that fatigued drivers are more likely to be involved in traffic accidents.

Since the CSA program is new, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has not made firm plans about what to do with the statistics and data gathered through the program. Currently, the organization has not said that it has any plans to propose new rules based on the CSA data, for example.

In the meantime, however CSA data and other data collected about the trucking industry can perhaps at least provide a better insight into the industry – and into why Coral Gables car accidents and truck accidents occur. Information can help authorities and policy makers determine which issues require attention and which issues need more focus in order to prevent Coral Gables traffic accidents in the future.

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May 15, 2012

PTSD and Miami Truck Accidents and Car Accidents

Does PTSD play a role in Miami truck accidents and traffic accidents? The USAA, an insurance carrier for military families, has a new study which suggests it does. According to the USAA study, which examined the car accident rates after 171,000 deployments over a period of three years, US military personnel have 13% more at-fault car accidents in the six months after coming home when compared with the six months before deployment.

According to the USAA, one reason may be because military personnel require a different style of driving in Kabul and other deployment areas to stay alive. When they return home after duty, they may be used to this style of driving and may struggle to adjust to driving at home. Many members of the military, for example, need to drive heavy vehicles during combat situations and need to drive in order to deal with the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as well as other road hazards. As a result, perhaps, the USAA found that most car accidents found to be caused by military personnel after deployment were caused by objects in the road.

Some members of the military have higher rates of accidents than others. Members of the military had 23% more at-fault car accidents within the first six months of coming home, while members of the Marines had 12.5% more accidents. Members of the Navy and the Air Force had rates of 3% and 2%, respectively. Those who were deployed at least three times had 36% more accidents than those deployed less often while those who were deployed twice has 27% more car accidents and traffic accidents when compared with those who had been deployed just once. The same study found that seniors who were over 29 years of age and who had more seniority when compared with those who were younger and with less training.

The study adds to a growing number of studies showing the effects of war trauma on returning soldiers. Other studies have shown that brain injuries and chronic headaches, among other issues, are becoming more common with soldiers and members of the military.

The USAA study is significant in that it sheds some important insight on Miami traffic accidents and some of their causes. Members of the military clearly sacrifice a great deal to protect their homes, and knowing that these issues exist will hopefully ensure that members of the military get more support after deployment. The study also suggests that more can be done to prevent Miami car accidents and truck accidents.

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May 3, 2012

Summer Traffic and Miami Truck Accidents

As we recently discussed on this blog, summer traffic can mean some unique hazards that can lead to Miami truck accidents. To avoid Miami traffic accidents this summer, make sure that you:

1) Give trucks and other large vehicles more room. Delivery trucks, RVs, tourist buses, and other large vehicles take longer to stop than passenger vehicles. They also have more blind spots than the average vehicle and may stop unexpectedly. Give buses, trucks, and RVs more room and be aware that these vehicles may stop suddenly. A good rule of thumb is to stay well back enough to see the driver’s side view mirrors. If you cannot see the mirrors, the driver likely cannot see you.

2) Drive distraction free. Distracted driving is dangerous at any time, but during the summer, when there is more traffic and more pedestrians on the roads it can easily lead to a Miami pedestrian accident or car accident. Put mobile devices and any other distractions away and only drive when you can put your full focus on the road.

3) Drive sober. Miami drunk driving accidents can be an especial problem in the summer, when the hot weather can make cool beers especially attractive. The many special events and barbeques serving alcohol can also make it easy for drivers to make the wrong decisions. However, alcohol can be especially dangerous in the summer, when the heat can make the effects of alcohol even more acute. It is therefore a good idea to avoid all alcohol before driving and to use taxis or public transportation to get home if you have been drinking.

4) Keep your car in good shape. Summer can be harsh on a vehicle. The heat can cause a car to overheat and can also cause additional wear and tear on tires. Taking your car to a reputable mechanic is a good precaution, and can help you ensure that your car is in good enough condition to be safe on the roads. A car that responds as you expect it to can help you avoid an accident.

5) Drive relaxed and well-rested. Driving when you are tired or stressed out can be dangerous and can lead to a Miami car accident, since you may make the wrong decisions and respond slowly in these conditions. Driving tired is especially dangerous in the summer, since the heat can make you feel even sleepier and can make it harder for you to focus on the road. Driving when you are upset can also be a problem in the summer, when higher traffic volume and more obstacles require more of your patience.

6) Stock your car well. Keep a first aid kit, sunglasses, water, and a blanket in your car. Driving in the summer can be uncomfortable, due to the heat and the glare of the sun. Keeping sunglasses on hand, as well as other supplies, can make trips easier.

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May 1, 2012

Can Summer Mean More Miami Truck Accidents?

Are Miami truck accidents and traffic accidents more prevalent in the summer months? While statistics disagree about the issue, there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that summer poses some unique challenges when it comes to avoiding Miami traffic accidents:

1) Summer often means building and construction season as well. Summer is often the time when new construction projects get underway and when road work is completed. This can mean that more trucks are needed in these areas to bring materials to the sites, but it can also mean traffic congestion and construction areas that increase the risk of Miami car accidents and traffic accidents.

2) Summer means season businesses, which means more trucks. Many businesses open during peak tourist season, which is in the summer. Some businesses cater specifically to summer travelers and to cruise ship tourists. These businesses often rely on trucks to bring supplies, souvenirs, and other needed materials, and these seasonal businesses can mean that there are more trucks on the roads in the summer, which can increase the risk of Miami truck accidents.

3) Summer means tourists, and that means more traffic of all types. Travelers pour into Miami in the summer, and take to the streets in rental cars and on motorcycles, bicycles, and on foot. There are also tourist buses and special tours which pour more types of traffic into city streets. All these types of traffic sharing the roads can mean more Miami pedestrian accidents and traffic accidents overall.

4) Tourist season means more people who may not be familiar with the city. Most tourists drive safely and responsibly. However, driving as a tourist does pose some additional challenges – challenges that can lead to a collision. Those who are unfamiliar with city streets may be driving slowly and making frequent stops to check street signs or maps. Those who are unfamiliar with the city may also be distracted by city attractions or maps as they drive.

5) Tourist season can mean RV and moving van season, too. Summer means that there are more large vehicles on the roads. Visitors may arrive in their RVs and many families choose the summer to move, meaning that there are more moving trucks on the roads. A larger number of large vehicles can increase the risk of Miami traffic accidents.

6) Summer can mean seasonal drivers. Trucking companies are like any other company – come summer, many employees want vacation time to travel with their families. This can mean that companies need to hire seasonal drivers to take on summer work. While companies have an obligation to screen and hire the best drivers possible, new drivers may simply not be as familiar with routes and policies as drivers who have been with the company for a while.

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April 24, 2012

What Risk Factors Can Cause Tamarac Truck Accidents?

Being in a Tamarac car accident caused involving a truck can be one of the most terrifying experiences. To avoid these types of accidents, it is important to understand the risk factors that can lead to truck accidents:

1) Blind spots. Commercial trucks, including big rigs and 18 wheelers, have large “no zones” or blind spots. In most cases, larger trucks have larger blind spots – both at the rear of the truck and near the front of the vehicle. In general, it is important to see the driver of the truck in his or her side mirrors. If you cannot see the driver, he or she likely cannot see you and you are at risk. For a similar reason, you should not follow too closely behind a truck – the truck driver will likely not see you.

2) Turns. A commercial truck generally makes a very wide turn and this puts nearby drivers at risk for a squeeze play accident. This occurs when a truck driver swings to one side in order to make a turn in the opposite direction. This can cause the truck to crash into any vehicle trapped between the truck and the curb. It can also cause the truck to crash into any vehicles that try to pass the truck while the truck is making a turn. To avoid these types of swinging turn Tamarac traffic accidents, give trucks plenty of room to make a turn and do not attempt to pass a truck making this type of turn.

3) Sudden stops. Many types of commercial trucks, including dump trucks and delivery trucks make frequent, unexpected stops. Any cars that are following too closely may slide under the truck or may crash into the rear of the truck. For this reason, it is important to give trucks more room than you would give other vehicles when following behind a truck.

4) Braking issues. Larger trucks take longer to brake. Trucks are also susceptible to brake failure. Both issues can cause Tamarac truck collisions. While there is not a great deal that you can do about brake failures, you can give trucks more room and you can avoid driving distracted to avoid a collision caused by a truck stopping suddenly.

5) Cargo problems. When trucks are carrying too much cargo, this puts extra pressure on the tires, which could lead to a tire blowout. Heavy loads can also cause the truck’s brakes to overheat and fail. In some cases, incorrectly secured cargo can fly off the truck and into oncoming traffic or can destabilize a truck so that it is at risk for a rollover. If you see a truck that looks like it may have incorrectly secured cargo, put extra room between you and the truck.

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April 8, 2012

Poor Truck Maintenance as a Cause of Miami Truck Accidents

Proper truck maintenance is crucial in ensuring that commercial trucks are road-worthy and safe for interstate or Florida travel. Unfortunately, each year Miami truck accidents are caused by incorrectly maintained trucks, and in these cases multiple parties can be liable since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and other governing bodies maintain that both truck drivers and the companies that hire the drivers or own the trucks are responsible for truck maintenance. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck drivers are responsible for inspecting a number of things at the start and end of each working day, including:

-Tires (including tread and tire inflation) and rims
-All brakes, including parking brakes, front brakes, and rear brakes
-Reflectors and lights
-Horn
-All truck mirrors, including rear-view and side mirrors
-Windshield wipers and fluid
-Emergency gear
-Coupling devices

Drivers must carefully record their inspections in a daily log and these inspections must be available to the company that hired the driver. In addition, the company that hired the driver must conduct full truck inspections, following the FMSCA guidelines, before a truck is declared safe to travel across state lines. The details and reports of these inspections must also be kept.

Since inspections can be time-consuming and costly, there have been cases where drivers and truck companies have not followed the guidelines for inspections or have failed to fix problems found during inspections. In some cases, drivers and companies have even forged documents and records to cover up poor inspection practices. When this occurs, Miami car accidents involving trucks become more likely, since incorrectly maintained trucks do not respond as they should increasing the risk of collisions.

If you have been in a Miami traffic accident caused by poor inspection practices, it is important to consult with a qualified Miami personal injury attorney in order to hold those responsible accountable for their negligence. A good attorney can investigate the cause of the accident and can keep your best interests in mind while pursuing your case to the full extent of the law. If someone’s negligence has caused your injuries, you may be able to recover the costs of medical treatment, lost income, and other expenses related to your injuries.

In a Miami truck accident, there are often multiple liable parties. This can actually improve your chances of collecting fair compensation for your injuries, so that you do not need to pay the often high cost of medical care and lost income out of your own pocket.

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March 29, 2012

Getting Medical Help After a Miami Gardens Truck Accident

Being in a Miami Gardens traffic accident can be one of the most frightening experiences of your life. A Miami Gardens truck accident, especially, can cause devastating damage as well as serious injury. If you have sustained a serious car accident or truck accident, your first priority should be to get medical assistance in order to increase your chances of recovery. The sooner you can get reliable, targeted medical help, the more likely you are to recover from your injuries. Many types of injuries, such as Miami Gardens brain injuries, can become fatal if you do not get prompt medical attention. This is why it is important to:

1) Offer immediate assistance to anyone who needs it at the scene. If anyone at the scene of the accident seems to have a serious injury, it is best to call for emergency personnel right away. Even if you're not sure whether an ambulance is strictly required, it is better to err on the side of caution and get help immediately. In many cases, seconds and minutes can make the difference between life and death.

2) Visit an emergency room or clinic if you are injured but do not require an ambulance. Even if you walk away from a Miami Gardens car accident, it is important to visit a walk in clinic or emergency room right away if you have any symptoms. In many cases, even if symptoms seem mild they can indicate a serious injury. For example, some Miami Gardens brain injury victims do not experience any initial symptoms after their injury but eventually sustain permanent or even fatal damage. For this reason, it is important to consult with a medical professional right away if you have any symptoms at all, if you have hit your head, or if you have vision problems or have lost consciousness even temporarily after your accident.

3) Keep track of symptoms. Even if you have no symptoms after a Miami Gardens truck accident and seem fine, it is important to keep track of any potential symptoms or issues for a few weeks after the accident. In some cases, symptoms develop gradually and may not be noticeable. Keeping a written record of any symptoms, no matter how small, can help you notice any potentially serious symptoms so that you can get help in time.

4) Make an appointment with your regular physician. Speaking with your regular physician after a Miami Gardens truck accident is a smart precaution. A physician can give you a general checkup to make sure that there are no problems and can ensure that there is a record of any symptoms you may be experiencing.

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March 27, 2012

Brain Injuries After a Miami Beach Truck Accident

According to Brainline.org, an American suffers a traumatic brain injury every 21 seconds. One-third of these injuries are caused by falls while 17.3% are caused by traffic accidents. Truck accidents are a common cause of Miami Beach brain injuries, since the size and force of a commercial truck can easily cause serious damage to a smaller vehicle, causing serious injuries for everyone inside the vehicle. There are many ways to prevent serious injuries caused by a Miami Beach truck accident:

1) Wear your seat belt. A seatbelt is one of the simplest and best ways to prevent a Miami Beach brain injury after a traffic accident. Your seatbelt keeps you in place and prevents your head from coming into sharp contact with your dashboard or other objects inside the car. A seatbelt also prevents you from being ejected from the vehicle, preventing serious injury. If you're traveling with a child, make sure that the child is seated in the back and is using an age-appropriate child safety restraint.

2) Keep your car in good condition. Make sure that your car is in good condition so that it responds correctly if you need to move suddenly in order to avoid a Miami Beach traffic accident. Make sure that airbags and other safety systems work correctly. These safety systems are designed to help prevent serious injuries in the event of an accident.

3) Buy the best quality car you can afford, with the best safety features. The safety performance of cars varies widely. Buy the best quality of car that you can afford, and be sure to ask about safety features as well safety performance extensively before making a final purchase. A quality car with good safety features can help keep you a little safer in a car accident.

4) Give trucks more room. Trucks require more room to stop and some types of trucks – including delivery trucks and waste disposal trucks – make frequent stops. Giving trucks additional room ensures that if the truck brakes suddenly you have room to stop. Trucks also take longer to break, which is another reason why you want to give trucks a little more distance. Another important reason for giving trucks more space is because drivers of commercial vehicles often have multiple blind spots. They may simply not be able to see you if you follow too closely.

5) Hone your driving skills. Taking defensive driving classes or refreshing your driving skills periodically helps ensure that you have the best driving skills possible so that you can avert an accident and drive safely in all sorts of conditions. In many cases, additional training may be able to ensure a better insurance rate as well.

6) Drive defensively.

7) Stay focused on driving. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of Miami Beach car accidents, and is also one of the most preventable reasons for car accidents. Put away mobile devices whenever you step in your car and keep your entire focus on driving. This helps keep everyone on the roads safer.

If you are in a Miami Beach car accident involving a truck, your first priority should be to get medical attention. If you have hit your head, especially, you will want to get prompt medical attention. Even if you have no immediate symptoms, some brain injuries – even serious and fatal injuries – to not immediately manifest symptoms. It is always better to err on the side of caution and get a medical evaluation if you have hit your head. If you have lost consciousness, have a serious headache, or have vision problems, call emergency personnel. The sooner you can get a proper diagnosis and treatment, the better your chances of recovery are.

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March 23, 2012

Preventing North Miami Truck Accidents Involving Motorcycles

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycles are among the most dangerous modes of transportation on the roadways, with motorcyclists comprising 13% of all traffic deaths. Since motorcyclists have fewer barriers of protection, they are more vulnerable in a North Miami traffic accident. In fact, according to the NHTSA, motorcyclists are 25 times more likely to die and 5 times more likely to be injured in a car accident than occupants of a passenger vehicle. Motorcyclists involved in a North Miami truck accident are especially vulnerable to injuries and fatalities, as the sheer size and force of a truck can easily crush a motorcycle and motorcyclist. Despite the dangers, motorcyclists still have a passionate love of bikes. In the US, there were 8 million registered motorcycles in 2009, and the number is growing.

Statistics show that in 2009, about one in two motorcycle accidents involved another vehicle. In about 40% of cases, these accidents took place when a vehicle turned left and crashed into a motorcycle that was passing or headed straight. In about 27% of cases, the accidents look place when both the vehicle and motorcycle were traveling straight.

According to experts, the main reason behind motorcycle accidents is related to visibility. In many cases, motorcyclists are not visible to other drivers or other drivers are simply not on the lookout for motorcyclists. While motorcyclists can take steps to be more visible, truck drivers and passenger car drivers also need to be more cautious about keeping an eye out for motorcycles. To encourage this, the NHTSA has teamed up with local law enforcement as part of its “Share the Road” initiative. As part of the program, the NHTSA is reminding all motorcyclists and car and truck drivers that:

1) Motorcycles should be given a full lane at all times. Sharing the lane, even when there seems to be enough room to do so, is extremely dangerous and prevents a motorcyclist from having the room to maneuver safely. Not allowing motorcyclists enough room is a common cause of North Miami motorcycle accidents.

2) Distraction is a danger, whether you are a driver, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian. Distracted drivers and riders are less likely to notice motorcyclists and other traffic situations that require attention. Putting mobile devices away and putting all focus on the road is the safest way to share the road.

3) Motorcyclists have the same privileges, rights, and responsibilities as all other vehicles on the road.

4) Use signals. Truck drivers, car drivers, motorcyclists, and bicyclists need to signal when merging or changing lanes to let other vehicles know their intention. Signaling lets other vehicles around you adjust their driving as needed.

5) At intersections and when entering or leaving a lane, check your mirrors and blind spots. Motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists may not be noticeable because they are in a blind spot.

6) Give motorcycles and trucks more room. Trucks make frequent stops while motorcyclists change speeds more often or adjust position in a lane due to weather or road conditions. Motorcycles can also stop more quickly than cars. Giving trucks and motorcycles more room is the safest way to adjust for these differences.

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March 21, 2012

What to Remember if you are in a Tamarac Truck Accident

Hopefully, you will never need to go through the trauma and stress that is a Tamarac truck accident. However, if you are in this type of Tamarac traffic accident, there are several things you will want to remember to do:

1) Have your vehicle ready. Being ready for a Tamarac car accident or truck accident is important. In your glove compartment, you should have pen and paper, current insurance information, a first aid kit, and possibly a small camera (if your phone does not have a camera). If you are ever in a car accident, you will have the help and information on hand to exchange contact, license plate, and insurance information with the other driver involved.

2) Get safe. The first thing to do after a Tamarac truck accident is to get to a safe location and contact emergency medical help for anyone who needs it. If the accident was not serious, Florida laws require you to get your car out of the way of traffic so that you do not cause a secondary Tamarac car accident.

3) Contact authorities. Contacting police after the accident to file a police report can be an important step in getting documentation about the accident. Contacting your insurance company is also important for starting the claims process.

4) Stay calm and stay alert about what you say. You should never admit fault at the accident scene. It is often premature, especially since no one has yet investigated all the contributing factors in the accident. Do not apologize for the accident, and stick to facts without assigning blame when discussing the accident with police or the other driver.

5) Start documenting the injuries and damages. Take photos of the accident if you can, using the time stamp on your camera phone if possible. Get a copy of any police or medical reports after the accident and keep careful records on injuries as well as any costs related to your Tamarac truck accident.

6) Contact a Tamarac personal injury attorney. Even if you think that the insurance offer made by your insurance company is a safe one, schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney to get a sense of how much your case could be worth. Do this before you sign any insurance documents and before you make any final decisions in your case. In some cases, a personal injury attorney can negotiate a better claim offer for you or can help you get fairer compensation, ensuring you won’t pay for as many costs out of pocket. If you are accused of causing the car accident, you will also need a good attorney to defend your rights.

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February 23, 2012

Oil Tanker Accidents: A Dangerous Type of Coral Springs Truck Accident

Oil tanker trucks carry oil and in some cases natural gas and other potentially hazardous materials to consumer homes and to businesses. Unfortunately, when these vehicles become involved in Coral Springs truck accidents, the results can be devastating. While any Coral Springs car accident or traffic accident can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities, oil tanker accidents can lead to environmental disaster, wide-spread property damage, and serious injuries and fatalities due the explosive and hazardous nature of the cargo these vehicles carry.

With tanker trucks carrying flammable material such as natural gas and oil, one of the major hazards in a Coral Springs traffic accident is that the cargo will catch fire or explode. Such explosions can cause pieces of truck to be flung over large distances, causing property damage and potentially injuring bystanders. Explosions can also be fatal to passengers, the driver, other motorists, and even emergency responders at the scene.

When a tanker truck catches fire, pressure can build in the tanker until the release valve bursts, which then can cause gas and flames to leap into the air. In some cases, this can cause a very severely negative environmental impact as well, and entire neighborhoods may need to be cleared to keep people safe. The pressure of an exploding oil tanker and subsequent fire can also cause hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions of dollars in damage to roads and infrastructure, which can make roadways dangerous to other vehicles and can even cause secondary Coral Springs car accidents.

There are many reasons for oil tanker truck accidents. When brake failure occurs, tankers are vulnerable to rollover accidents, due to their top-heavy loads and due to the fact that they have shifting cargo. A rollover Coral Springs truck accident involving a tanker can easily lead to a fire or explosion. Another common cause for these types of accidents involves an oil tanker colliding with another vehicle. The sheer force of the impact can cause a fire.

Many explosions after Coral Springs truck accidents involving tankers are also caused by problems with the truck. Overweight trucks, poor muffler systems that ignite, and poorly maintained fuel tanks can all lead to accidents and explosions. Any truck problem or defect that could cause a Coral Springs truck accident or car accident with another type of vehicle becomes doubly dangerous with an oil tanker, simply due to the dangerous nature of the cargo these vehicles carry.

Owners of oil tankers as well as drivers of these vehicles are responsible for taking all necessary precautions to ensure that cargo is transported safely. When oil tanker drivers take risks, the resulting accidents could affect thousands of lives. In these cases, victims can pursue legal claims to get compensation for their injuries and to pressure truck carriers to adopt safer policies to prevent further accidents.

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February 21, 2012

Rules Protect You in a Homestead Semi-Truck Accident

A Homestead semi-truck accident generally involves a company (the truck carrier) and the powerful insurance companies that protect them. This means that after a Homestead car accident involving a semi-truck, one of the first things that happens is that the truck driver contacts his or her employer to tell them about the accident. The employer then notifies the insurance company, who immediately sends out an attorney and accident reconstructionist to the accident scene. In some cases, these insurance professionals are on the scene before the injury victim even knows who has hit them and before the injury victim has secured medical help. The insurance company steps in immediately to protect its interests and the interests of its client.

In many cases, Homestead personal injury victims do not even seek the help of an attorney after their traffic accident. They assume that insurance will take care of the costs related to their injuries. However, insurance companies are looking for ways to save money and settle claims quickly. As a result, insurance carriers rarely pay out the full amount of a claim cost. Any long-term medical care, especially, may not be fully covered, leaving the victim to pay these expenses out of pocket. For this reason, it is important to consult with a qualified Homestead personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a traffic accident, especially after any accident involving a commercial vehicle, such as a semi.

Even if a Homestead traffic accident victim does consult with a personal injury attorney, by the time the consultation does occur, the defense has been mounting a case and working to protect the interests of the truck carrier and truck driver. There is usually a rehearsed and prepared account of what has happened and in many cases some of the evidence is no longer available to the personal injury attorney. For this reason, it is also important to consult with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident, so that log books and other evidence can be secured.

Despite these challenges, however, truck accident victims do have some rules and regulations protecting them. Florida laws, for example, allow victims to seek legal claims in Homestead traffic accidents that have been caused by recklessness or negligence. In these cases, victims can get compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and other costs related to the accident. This compensation can give the victim the financial resources needed to get the help they need to get back on their feet after an accident.

In addition, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations have a number of rules in place to protect the public. These rules govern how many hours tractor trailer truck drivers can drive before resting and dictate how many hours of sleep commercial truck drivers are required to have. In addition, drivers are required to keep log books that keep track of hours driven and rests taken. In a Homestead truck accident case, these logbooks become very important and can help an attorney determine whether a truck driver took unnecessary risks or shortcuts.

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January 19, 2012

Stopped Trucks Can Still Cause Miami Gardens Truck Accidents

When most drivers think of Miami Gardens car accidents involving a truck, they imagine a truck barreling down a highway and colliding with a car. However, in many cases a Miami Gardens truck accident involves a truck that is parked on the side of the road. These types of accidents can still cause serious injuries and fatalities and they are very preventable.

Most commercial tractor trailers need to make frequent stops, including stops on the shoulder of a roadway or highway. In some cases, it is safer to pull over than to keep driving. If a commercial truck driver is not feeling well, for example, or needs to check directions, it is safer to pull over than to keep going. When a truck malfunctions, the driver may simply have no choice about stopping. In some cases, commercial truck drivers also pull off to the side of the road in order to make a delivery or to rest in areas where no other spaces for resting are provided.

Unfortunately, a large tractor trailer pulled over on the side of the road can be a hazard. A large truck can partially obstruct the outside lane, and any car traveling along that outside lane can collide with the truck and cause a serious Miami Gardens truck accident if the passenger car driver does not notice the truck in time. Along winding roads and in the dark, it can be especially difficult to spot a truck stopped by the side of the road. A number of Miami Gardens personal injury cases have been launched after the devastating impact of just this type of accident.

According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, when a tractor trailer is stopped on a highway or highway shoulder, the driver is mandated to follow some measures to ensure that oncoming cars are aware of the danger. That is, drivers are expected to use warning devices, such as hazard warring flares, fuses, or other warning devices to ensure that oncoming traffic can see the truck. If a driver fails to take these precautions and a Miami Gardens traffic accident takes place as a result, the driver of the truck may be held liable for not taking the proper precautions and for being illegally parked on the side of the road. In some cases, the truck carrier may also be held partly liable if the driver is not given adequate warning devices for this situation or is not trained in the use of such devices.

In this type of Miami Gardens traffic accident, the results can be devastating, especially if the accident occurs on a highway, where speed limits are higher. A motorist traveling unsuspectingly along a highway may not be able to slow down or swerve in time to avoid a truck that is illegally parked on the side of the road. In many cases, the motorist hits the truck head-on at high speeds. Brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and fatalities are the common outcome of this type of accident, in part due to the high speed involved.

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January 3, 2012

Food Trucks and Truck Accidents Across Florida

In 2011, food trucks were a major issue in many Florida cities. Some Florida cities including Miami, argued that food trucks were a danger, because they could cause Miami car accidents due to increased traffic congestion, or could cause other types of Miami traffic accidents because food trucks attract both pedestrian and car traffic to small areas. Those who opposed food trucks argued that they posed unfair competition for restaurants and also were unregulated, making them potentially dangerous.

However, there was no denying that food trucks were immensely popular in Florida in 2011, and they had their fair share of supporters. Many argued that even in Miami, where food truck rules were tightened over the summer, food trucks had not been found to cause any Miami truck accidents or traffic accidents. Many also argued that the food trucks provided a safe and affordable option for diners.

Diners certainly flocked to food trucks in 2012. Many cited the low costs and good quality of the food as the reason. With lower overhead, food trucks were often able to provide lower prices than traditional bricks-and-mortar businesses. They are also able to travel to events and other locations where diners are, often making them a more convenient option for hungry patrons.

In 2012, Florida communities will likely see the debate about food trucks continue and may also see new legislation for the food truck industry. For example, St. Petersburg, Florida is considering a few options. The community is considering allowing food trucks in vacant lots. This, according to advocates, would help revitalize vacant areas in and near downtown while providing a service that the public wants. St. Petersburg is also considering allowing food trucks only near Beach Drive and near the Pier, where demand is greatest. Another option being considered is to allow food trucks only in cooperation with private businesses (such as existing bricks-and-mortar restaurants). This option would ensure that food trucks could co-exist with local restaurants rather than competing with them.

St. Petersburg does not currently permit food trucks, although that is expected to change by the end of 2012. Many other Florida communities, however, do permit food trucks. For example, Orlando allows food trucks to work collaboratively with local businesses as long as the trucks stay ten feet or more from the road. Tampa permits food trucks in private lots and at special events only. St. Petersburg’s efforts to bring a food truck scene into the community may eventually affect other communities who wish to allow food trucks on their streets.

While so far there have not been injuries reported involving food trucks, these are commercial trucks and in the event of an accident, they will be protected by larger insurance carriers. As well, gathering evidence in these cases and determining liability could be challenging since the truck may be owned by more than one entity and may be located on a city street or a private lot owned by a third party. Since food trucks can simply drive away, locating drivers and evidence can also be challenging. In any such accident, victims would need to work closely with a qualified personal injury attorney.

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December 27, 2011

Would a Universal Ban on Cellphone Use Prevent More Miami Truck Accidents?

Commercial truck drivers are not allowed to text and drive or use cellphones while driving. However, the National Transportation Board is calling for a far more wide-spread ban – one that would ban all drivers in all states from using portable electronic devices in all but emergencies. The ban would include hands-free devices as well. While many people believe that such a ban would help prevent Miami car accident, there are also at least a few reasons why it would help prevent truck accidents as well:

1) Truck drivers are not the only ones who cause Miami truck accidents. In many cases, distracted drivers of passenger cars cause accidents because they are not paying attention to the road. By banning electronic devices for all motorists, there is a chance that there will be fewer distracted drivers overall, potentially decreasing Miami traffic accidents – including truck accidents.

2) Light truck drivers and non-commercial truck drivers are still allowed to text and drive in Florida – even though these drivers can still cause deadly accidents. In 2010, a driver in Missouri sent 11 texts in 11 minutes, causing a highway pileup that injured 38 people and killed two.

3) The problem is not going away. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has said that the situation with distracted driving is getting worse, with about 50% of drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 admitting to texting or emailing which driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one in about 1000 motorists at any given moment in 2010 was using a mobile device to surf the Internet, email, text, or engage in some other distracting activity. This represents a 50% increase in these activities compared to the last year.

4) Banning only some drivers from texting and driving is sending the wrong message. To send the message that texting and distracted driving is deadly, all motorists need to be banned from using mobile devices. Just banning commercial drivers makes it seem as though distracted driving is not allowed for commercial truck drivers, but is fine for everyone else.

5) The evidence of the danger is compelling. There is no longer any doubt that distracted driving kills. Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other experts and organizations attest to the dangers. Just as DUI was once legislated to prevent Miami drunk driving accidents and drunk driving accidents across the US, more needs to be done to prevent distracted driving accidents.

Of course, more needs to be done than just enacting laws. The NTSB has stressed that laws need to be enforced. Missouri already has a law which prevents drivers under the age of 21 from texting and driving, but in the 2010 Missouri accident, the 19-year-old driver continued to send texts and was not apprehended by anyone. Many authorities now automatically ask for texting and cellphone records to be preserved when they investigate an accident, so that they can determine whether distracted driving was a factor in an accident. However, more can be done to prevent distracted driving accidents in the first place.

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December 23, 2011

Why Distracted Driving Can Lead to More Miami Truck Accidents at This Time of Year

Numerous studies have shown that distracted driving is a major cause of concern in terms of Miami car accidents and truck accidents. In fact, by federal law, commercial drivers are not allowed to text and drive. During this time of year, however, it seems as though there are many more serious Miami truck accidents featured in the news. More holiday traffic and more pressure are one reason for this alarming trend in Miami truck accidents, but distracted driving is another major culprit. While distracted driving is a problem all year long, it can be an especial problem during the holiday rush, when it seems that far too many of us are trying to do far too much at once.

The pressure to keep retailers stocked with holiday items is considerable, and many truckers face extra pressures in terms of deliveries at this time of year. There are more trucks on the roads, more deliveries to make, and tighter deadline pressures. Truck drivers may feel more pressure to keep driving and more pressure to check in often about deadlines and deliveries. This can tempt drivers to use their mobile devices while on the road – to save time and to keep in touch. In addition, truck drivers have their own holiday plans, just like anyone else, and may be trying to balance a heavier holiday workload along with personal obligations. Again, this can tempt drivers into trying to multitask.

In addition, temporary truck drivers may need to be hired at this time of year in order to meet holiday demand. Many retailers and businesses hire temporary workers – including temporary drivers – at this time of year. While any truck carriers hiring commercial drivers are supposed to ensure that they hire only qualified drivers, any business hiring a driver for a company van may face fewer distractions. A less experienced driver may feel overconfident in their ability to text and drive, and drivers who drive vans for a company may not even realize that they should not use their mobile devices while driving.

There are also more drivers on the roads in general at this time of year, and while commercial truck drivers are prohibited from texting and driver, the drivers of passenger vehicles do not face any similar ban in Florida. Even if truck drivers do everything right at this time of year – even with the added pressures they face – passenger car drivers may be driving distracted and may cause serious collisions with trucks.

All drivers need to be more alert at this time of year. That means putting away all distractions, including mobile devices, and driving safely. The Flaxman Law Group wants to ensure that all our readers have a safe and happy holiday, and we hope that none of our readers are affected by a Miami traffic accident.

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December 20, 2011

Preventing a Miami Truck Accident During the Holidays

There are many more Miami trucks out during the holidays than during most times of the year, as demand for deliveries and merchandise increases at this time of year. Unfortunately, it can mean that there are more Miami car accidents involving trucks at this time of year. If you wish to prevent Miami truck accidents and traffic accidents, there are a few things you can do:

1) Avoid distracted driving. Driving distracted is dangerous at any time of the year, but it can be especially dangerous during the holiday season, when there is more traffic on the roads and a greater risk of Miami traffic accidents. At this time of year, it is even more important to put your mobile devices away and give 100% of your attention to the roads and to driving.

2) Give yourself plenty of time. With the holiday rush upon us, it is common to feel somewhat harried and pressured to get plenty of errands done. However, rushing can make it more likely that you will make driving mistakes that could lead to a Miami traffic accident or truck accident. Rushing can also make it more likely that you will drive aggressively or tailgate in order to get to your destination on time. A better solution is to reduce the number of commitments where you can during this time of year and give yourself extra time to savor the holidays.

3) Give trucks extra room. There are more trucks on the road at this time of year and with more trucks and more rushing on the roadways, you will want to give commercial trucks plenty of room. Remember: if you cannot see the truck driver in the driver’s mirrors, you are too close and the truck driver cannot see you. As well, be sure to leave extra room in cases where a delivery truck may be stopping and starting often in order to drop off deliveries.

4) Use extra caution in parking lots. Parking lots are dangerous because pedestrians, trucks, and passenger vehicles are all sharing the same space. You need to be especially vigilant about trucks and pedestrians in parking lots. While parking lot accidents are usually low-speed accidents, they can be quite serious.

5) Get plenty of rest and only head out to run errands when you are well enough to do so. The holiday season coincides with the flu season, so it is not unusual to be lacking in sleep and feeling under the weather just when you are feeling pressure to run many holiday-related errands. Feeling groggy and ill, however, can increase your chances of getting into an accident. Put off errands until you feel better and more rested. If you take over the counter medication or any medication to deal with seasonal illness, make certain that the medicine will not make you drowsy or sleepy.

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December 15, 2011

Avoid a Parking Lot Miami Truck Accident This Holiday Season

If you have been holiday shopping this year, you have likely noticed that parking lots are extremely busy at this time of year. Unfortunately, parking lots can also be the site of many holiday Miami traffic accidents. Parking lots require pedestrians, trucks, and cars to share the same space and as more trucks, pedestrians and cars converge on parking lots at this time of year, accidents are more likely. You can reduce your risk of Miami pedestrian accidents, truck accidents, and traffic accidents in parking lots this year by following these safety tips:

1) Be aware where trucks park in your mall parking lot. They may park in a separate area behind stores in order to make deliveries. If this is the case, try to park away from the route that trucks would need to take to get to their delivery area. This will keep you safer as you drive to and from your space and walk to and from your car.

2) Give yourself plenty of time to do your shopping and errands. The less time you have, the more frantic you will be and the more rushed, which makes you more likely to make mistakes that could lead to a Miami car accident.

3) Don’t cut corners when driving through a parking lot. Treat parking lots just like roadways, with lanes of traffic. Do not drive across parking spaces, even if they are empty, to get to a far corner of the lot more quickly. You are sharing the parking lot with other vehicles as well as with children and pedestrians. Stick to those lanes where pedestrians and cars expect vehicles to be.

4) Don’t drive distracted. Although you are driving slowly through a parking lot, you need to be even more alert since other vehicles may pull out in front of you or pedestrians may emerge from in between parked cars. When driving through a shopping mall parking lot. Do not check your messages, text, make phone calls, or change your music. Keep your full attention on the road.

5) Be especially careful at entrances and exits. These are the areas where bottlenecks and accidents are more likely to occur, especially as shoppers and delivery trucks are anxious to get in and out of the parking area. Proceed slowly, make eye contact with other drivers, and yield right of way. When a truck is trying to enter to leave the parking lot, provide plenty of room and make sure that you are not following behind the truck too closely – if you cannot see the truck driver in the mirrors, he or she cannot see you.

6) Stay calm. Holiday stress can easily translate to road rage in a shopping parking lot, especially if someone cuts you off or takes a parking space you were trying to drive into. Do your best to stay calm and avoid engaging with stressed out drivers who may be suffering from road rage.

7) Be cautious when walking to and from your car. Make sure that drivers can see you, stick to pedestrian areas, and avoid emerging from in between parked cars. This is especially important if you are shopping at night or in darker conditions, where visibility is poor. In busy parking lots, Miami pedestrian accidents are a real concern.

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December 13, 2011

Why Miami Truck Accidents Are an Especial Concern During the Holidays

At any time of the year, Miami truck accidents can be devastating. Many Miami brain injury victims, spinal cord injury victims, and other seriously injured victims receive their injuries from Miami traffic accidents. Due to the size and force of commercial trucks, accidents involving these types of vehicles can be especially deadly. A large commercial truck can completely flatten and destroy a passenger vehicle, causing extensive and even fatal injuries to any passengers stuck inside the car. Unfortunately, some experts believe that truck accidents are more common at this time of year for a number of reasons:

1) More trucks are on the road. Holidays are a busy time of year for retailers, and many retailers get more deliveries at this time of year. There are also more deliveries being made to residences at this time of year as companies offer delivery services and as presents are delivered by mail to customers. With more trucks on the road, there is also a correspondingly bigger risk of Miami truck accidents.

2) More temporary drivers are driving trucks. To cope with increased demand, some companies and carriers hire seasonal workers to meet deadlines. Some of these drivers may have less experience with specific routes than drivers who have been doing the same job for months or years.

3) More traffic is present on streets overall. During the holiday season, many more people are out and about to run holiday errands, finish their shopping, and take part in holiday events. In addition to more cars on the road, there are also more trucks on the road as businesses try to capture the profits possible during this time of year.

4) Busy parking lots are a fact of life during the holidays. Parking lots are a major hazard during the holidays, as trucks are trying to make deliveries and as more shopper pour into the malls to take advantage of holiday deals. This can lead to frayed emotions and even road rage, increasing the risk of a parking lot Miami traffic accident.

5) More rushing. As people feel the stress and pressure of the holiday season, they often feel they have to rush into order to accomplish all their tasks. Unfortunately, this can lead to distracted driving as individuals try to multitask. It can also lead to fatigued driving if drivers cannot sleep well due to holiday stress. The holiday rush can also lead to road rage and speeding, which can also contribute to holiday Miami car accidents.

6) More drinking. Unfortunately, some people still choose to get behind the wheel after attending a party where there has been drinking. Each holiday season, police work to crack down on Miami drunk driving accidents, but these accidents still do occur as some people make poor choices.

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December 8, 2011

Miami Hit and Run Truck Accidents

In Florida, all drivers are aware that they need to stop at the scene of an accident in order to render assistance and in order to exchange insurance information and contact information with any other drivers involved in the accident. Hit and run Miami car accidents are a serious offence, and any driver found guilty of this criminal offence can face serious penalties. Despite the penalties, however, hit and run Florida traffic accidents continue to be a serious problem. In fact, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Miami-Dade County and Broward County had the most hit-and-runs of any Florida county in 2008.

There are many reasons why people leave the scene of an accident. In some cases, drivers panic or are fearful of being accused of causing the accident. In other cases, drivers are already doing something illegal – such as driving without a license or insurance or driving under the influence – and do not want to be caught. It can be especially difficult when the person who leaves the scene of an accident is a commercial truck driver. There are many reasons why hit and run Miami truck accidents are especially challenging:

1) Trucks may sustain fewer damages in an accident. A collision between a car and a truck usually results in severe damages for the car, but the truck driver and the truck are less likely to be severely affected. This can make it easier for a truck to drive away and to not even show much damage on the truck itself.

2) Truck drivers may not be from the area, the state, or even the country, making them harder to find. Finding a truck driver who has fled the scene of an accident can be very challenging because truck drivers drive very long distances every day and may be from a different region, making them difficult to find, especially if the victim does not notice the license plate number or other details of the truck.

3) Truck drivers may share a truck with other drivers or may rent a truck from another company. One thing that can make it even more challenging to find the specific driver involved is that some carriers rent trucks or share trucks among drivers. Even if the truck itself is located, it can require even more investigative work to find the actual driver involved.

4) A truck driver involved in a hit and run Miami truck accident may be driving a load owned by one company in a truck owned by another company and may be hired by a third party. For all these reasons, it can be very difficult to determine liability in a hit and run accident. Usually, it takes a qualified Miami truck accident attorney to evaluate liability in these cases.

Most commercial truck drivers remain on the scene of an accident and try to help. However, in a hit and run accident involving a truck, victims can be left without recourse and assistance. In these cases, it can be important to consult with a qualified Miami personal injury attorney in order to locate the driver and determine liability in the accident.

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December 6, 2011

Distracted Driving and Miami Truck Accidents: What You Can Do

According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), distracted driving resulted in more than 450 000 injuries and 5500 fatalities. The NHTSA has worked to reduce distracted driving on the nation’s streets and even helped to institute a ban on texting and driving for commercial truck drivers. However, distracted driving still continues to cause Miami car crashes and truck accidents.

There are many things that you can do to help reduce instances of distracted driving on the roads:

1) Raise awareness. Many people are not aware that simple tasks, such as eating or drinking or checking messages can be a hazardous distraction behind the wheel. Many drivers also think that driving with a hands-free device is safer, even though studies have shown that headsets are not significantly safer than hand-held devices. The NHTSA website devoted to distracted driving education (http://distraction.gov/content/get-involved/index.html) has a number of resources that can help you educate others about the dangers of distracted driving.

2) Don’t drive distracted yourself. Every time you take your eyes off the road or allow your mind to wander from the task of driving, your accident risk is 23 times higher than it would be if you were driving distraction-free. Even if the commercial truck drivers around you are following guidelines and driving distraction-free, you can still cause a serious Miami truck accident by driving distracted yourself. The NHTSA website has a pledge that you can sign with friends and family to vow not to drive distracted.

3) Get involved in changing laws. Although there are laws preventing commercial drivers across the US from texting and driving, not all states have similarly strict laws against distracted driving for drivers of passenger vehicles. Currently, 35 states ban texting and driving while nine states ban drivers from using handheld cell phones for talking, texting, or any other purposes. Currently, Florida is one of the states with no laws against texting and driving, despite efforts by advocacy groups who claim that distracted driving leads to many Miami traffic accidents and Florida accidents each year. Preemption laws in Florida make it difficult for localities to pass and enforce laws against distracted driving. However, you can write to your local representatives if you feel strongly about the issue, in order to encourage your representatives to seek solutions.

4) Encourage strict penalties for commercial drivers who do violate the no texting and driving rule. Unfortunately, while most commercial truck drivers do take the texting ban seriously, some Miami truck accidents each year are caused by drivers who violate the rule. If you feel strongly about this, you can write to your elected representatives to encourage harsher penalties for drivers who violate distracted driving laws.

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November 25, 2011

Are Mexican Trucks a Miami Truck Accident Risk?

The Teamsters union has been involved in a legal battle to stop a U.S. Department of Transportation pilot program which would see trucks and truck drivers from Mexico on US roads. The Teamsters allege that the trucks are unsafe and would pose a threat on the roads. They also allege that the pilot program is illegal. The lawsuit has created quite a bit of media coverage and has many in Florida asking whether Mexican trucks would increase the risk of Miami truck accidents as well as traffic accidents across the state.

One reason that the pilot program is so controversial is because Mexican drivers, under the program, would not be mandated to meet the same physical requirements as US drivers and would not need to show proof that they adhere to safety standards. They would also not need to meet the standards established by the National Environment Policy Act. Many are concerned about this, since US drivers and trucks must meet a long list of requirements in order to drive on the roads. The Teamsters, as well as some truck drivers and carriers, are concerned that Mexican truck carriers do not need to meet these same strict guidelines when driving on US and Florida streets.

Also at issue is the safety standards of trucks allowed to drive in US roads. Some of the truck carriers from Mexico approved by the pilot program, for example, have had safety issues. The pilot program at first approved Grupo Behr, a truck carrier from Tijuana. However, the pilot program eventually withdrew that approval after it was found that the carrier had one semi-tractor trailer that was 20 years old and had safety problems. The pilot program eventually approved Transportes Olympic, another truck carrier. However, the Teamsters and other groups have expressed concerns about the safety problems possible with this carrier, as well.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), US taxes will pay for electronic On-Board Recorders with GPS for all Mexican trucks. While this may make it easier to keep track of any trucks from Mexico involved in accidents on the US border, some groups are upset, since US truck carriers must pay for these devices out of pocket. US taxes will also pay for muffler replacements on some older Mexican trucks, to ensure the safety of US air quality.

Despite the concerns, the first trucks from Mexico were allowed to enter the US on October 2011. Canadian trucks have been allowed on US roads for some time. So far, it is not known how any Miami car accidents involving Mexican trucks might be handled. Such cases may necessarily be more complicated, since victims would need to pursue carriers and drivers across the border. Since Miami is a major port and business center in the US, it does see quite a bit of truck traffic. So far, it is not known how the approval of Mexican trucks in the US would impact Miami traffic accident rates, if at all.

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November 18, 2011

Can Your Twitter and Facebook Page Harm Your Miami Truck Accident Case?

Today, millions of Americans use social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and other sites. Usually, these sites are a harmless way to stay in touch with friends and a fun way to share photos and ideas. However, if you have been in a Miami truck accident and have sustained injuries, your social networking activities can be harmful in a number of ways:

1) You never know who is reading. Insurance carriers and attorneys frequently use private investigators to look into the legitimacy of insurance claims. Private detectives increasingly use social networking sites to check up claimants. If you claim to be very injured but your blog or Twitter account shows you traveling, this could harm your claim. In some cases, private investigators will even befriend you on social networking sites to get more information. It is important to keep in mind that anything you post on a social media site is very public.

2) Innocuous comments and pictures may be skewed. You don’t have to write or post anything very suspicious on your social networking site for the site to impact your claim. In many cases, quite innocent photos and comments may be skewed to make your claim seem suspect. For example, if a friend shows up at your home after you are injured by a Miami car accident to cheer you up, those photos on a social networking site can make it appear as though you are throwing a party while claiming to be injured.

3) Social networking sites go back a long time. Many Internet users do not realize that virtually anything posted online is archived – for a long time. Posts that you made years ago about other injuries or other claims may be a boon to an insurance company now. This is another reason to be very honest with your insurance

4) You cannot control what others post on your site. While you may be cautious about what you post on your social networking sites, your friends and family may be posting comments and photos which could harm your case or which can be skewed to harm your case.

If you have sustained injuries in a Miami traffic accident, it is important to be aware of your online profile and your online participation in social media sites, even if you use a pseudonym or anonymous user name online. If you have a social networking presence, you may want to discuss this with your Miami truck accident attorney. Your attorney may ask you to refrain from posting anything on your social media sites while your case is pending or may give you some advice about what you should and should not be posting. Make sure that you follow these guidelines to the letter.

Whether you are online or not, if you have sustained injuries in a Miami truck accident, you will need a qualified Miami personal injury attorney with experience in these types of cases. A qualified attorney can negotiate with insurance carriers in your behalf, can investigate the causes of the accident and can pursue all liable parties so that you get the fairest compensation possible for lost income, medical bills, and other costs related to your injury.

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November 10, 2011

A Look at the Causes of Hollywood Truck Accidents

Hollywood rollover accidents are among the most Hollywood truck accidents. During rollover accidents, passengers are more likely to be ejected from the vehicle, flammable liquids are more likely to explode, and items in the truck cab are more likely to become projectiles, severely injuring those inside. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are many causes of rollover truck accidents:

1) Types of vehicles. Large commercial trucks are more likely to be involved in rollover accidents than passenger vehicles due to the excess pressure on the tires of the truck as well as due to the higher center of gravity of these vehicles. In addition, tankers are more likely to be involved in rollovers than many other types of trucks, simply because the load in these vehicles is more unstable and more likely to move, causing the center of gravity in the truck to shift.

2) Speed. Studies have suggested that up to 40% of fatal rollovers occurred while the vehicle was speeding. In addition, about 75% of such accidents took place in higher-speed areas of at least 55 mph. High speeds, especially with a heavily loaded commercial truck, make it harder for drivers to control their vehicle and make it easier for trucks to roll over or go into a slide that can lead to a rollover.

3) Almost one in two fatal rollover accidents involve alcohol, according to some studies. Even in cases where a driver is not above the blood alcohol limit, impairment can still be an issue. A truck driver who has had some alcohol but is still below the legal alcohol limit may still face impaired judgment, sleepiness, and other symptoms that can lead to a serious Hollywood traffic accident.

4) Location. According to studies, almost 75% of fatal rollover accidents occur on higher-speed rural roads. Part of the reason may be because such roads often have no barriers and are not divided. Unfortunately, commercial drivers in Hollywood often drive on rural roads outside the city, increasing their risk of an accident.

5) Driver error. According to the NHTSA, the vast majority of fatal rollover accidents are single-vehicle accidents that occur during routine events (such as turning). As a result, many experts believe that most of these accidents are caused by driver mistakes and behaviors, such as distracted driving.

6) Tire issues and load issues. Commercial trucks that are heavily loaded may weigh 80,000 pounds or more. This places enormous pressure on the tires, and can easily lead to tire blowouts as well as other tire malfunctions. When tires do not function correctly, the commercial truck driver cannot properly control the vehicle and is more likely to be involved in a serious traffic accident. In addition, when loads are not correctly secured or exceed the weight limit of the truck, the truck can more easily roll over, especially if the load is not distributed evenly, shifting the balance of the vehicle.

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November 8, 2011

Checking Tire Pressure Can Help Save Lives and Stop Miami Truck Accidents

Miami tire failures and tire problems leads to many Miami truck accidents, as well as accidents involving light trucks, SUVs, and cars. Keeping your tires in great condition can be an easy way to help prevent truck accidents on Miami roads. Correctly maintained tires help you control your car or truck more efficiently, making it less likely that you will be in an accident. Correctly maintained tires are also less likely to have you slipping or rolling over. There are many ways that you can help ensure that tire pressure and tire treads are correct for your driving conditions:

1) Walk around the truck before you hop in. A visual inspection is one of the fastest and most convenient ways to ensure that you don't have a flat tire or an underinflated tire. Simply walking around your truck before hopping in each time can help you to notice and correct any problems before they have a chance to cause a Miami traffic accident.

2) Keep a tire pressure gauge in the truck and check tire pressure often. Accurate tire pressure gauges are inexpensive and highly portable. They can fit in your glove compartment or even on your key ring. There's no excuse for not having a tire pressure gauge. It is important to use your tire pressure gauge frequently, at least once a week. Unfortunately, visual inspections alone are often not enough to tell you whether a tire is underinflated or overinflated. Underinflated tires can make it harder for you to control your truck and can make it easier for your truck to go into a slide and then roll over. Overinflated tires, on the other hand, are more likely to fail or burst. A tire pressure gauge is an inexpensive and not very time-consuming way to ensure that your tires are properly inflated and less likely to cause an accident.

3) Check the age of your tires. Tires that are several years old are more likely to suffer tire failure. The rubber material tires are made from simply disintegrates with time. Therefore, even if your truck has newer tires, you face the risk of tire failure if those tires have been sitting in a warehouse for a number of years. The serial numbers on your tires and a quick call to the tire manufacturer can easily tell you when the tires were manufactured.

4) At least once a month, review the overall condition of your tires. Once a week is even better. Look for signs of wear and any uneven wear. You may need to replace your tires more often than you realize if they are no longer safe for the road.

5) Check tire pressure limits and load limits for your truck. Be scrupulous about following these limits. Exceeding the load limits for your truck can increase the chances of Miami truck tire failure. Not following tire pressure limits also places excess pressure on your tires and can make it more likely that you will be in a serious accident.

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October 27, 2011

The Legal Issues with Commercial Truck Accidents in Miami

Commercial trucks arrive on Miami streets every day, moving items from the port of Miami, bringing items to Miami stores and businesses, and taking care of business around Miami. Since Miami is such a large city with so many businesses and residents, it's not surprising that the city also sees quite a lot of truck traffic. Unfortunately, this can mean a higher risk of Miami truck accidents as well.

Being involved in a Miami car accident involving a large commercial trucks can be intimidating, to say the least. A fully loaded commercial tractor-trailer can weigh 80,000 pounds or more, and a collision between this type of vehicle and a passenger vehicle usually leads to serious injuries or fatalities. Each year, Miami spinal cord injury patients and brain injury patients are admitted to emergency rooms following truck accidents on Miami streets. These accidents result in lifelong injuries as well as devastated lives.

Unfortunately, getting justice after a Miami truck accident involving a commercial truck can be difficult. Commercial truck carriers have considerable insurance coverage and insurance companies have extensive legal resources in order to help ensure that they do not have to pay out too much in any insurance claim. Victims of Miami truck accidents often find themselves blamed for an accident or find that the insurance claim offers do not fully cover the cost of their injuries. In many cases, Miami truck accidents also involve trucks which are owned by state or federal governments. In these cases, there are even more restrictions and even more powerful insurance companies at play, affecting the victim's ability to claim recovery for the injuries.

Miami truck accident victims face substantial medical costs, lost income, and other expenses and costs. If they are unable to get a fair insurance offer, these expenses need to come out of their own pocket – and in many cases these expenses add up to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. For all these reasons, it is essential to speak to a Miami personal injury attorney if you have been in a serious truck accident involving a commercial vehicle. A qualified personal injury attorney has experience dealing with insurance companies, and can more effectively negotiate for a fair settlement offer or claim.

A Miami personal injury attorney can also do other things to ensure that you get the support and recovery you need. For example, a personal injury attorney can work with private investigators and accident reconstruction professionals to determine the true cause of your accident. This can be very important in convincing a commercial truck carrier to offer you a fair recovery. As well, personal injury attorneys can help find all liable parties after an accident. This can be very important, as multiple liable parties can ensure that you are able to recover a fair amount to cover all the costs of your injuries. As well, this is very important because determining liable parties after a commercial truck accident in Miami can be very difficult. For example, a commercial truck may be rented from one carrier, have a driver from another carrier, and may be carrying products for another company. Determining liability or responsible parties in this situation can be very difficult without a qualified attorney.

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October 25, 2011

Pick-up Truck Accidents in Homestead

Many motorists in Homestead, Florida decide to purchase pickup trucks for convenience, business, or just because trucks can be fun. Pickup trucks are not subject to the same restrictions as commercial big rigs and tractor-trailers. However, they can still be quite dangerous for number of reasons:

1) Passengers. Many pickup trucks do not have extensive room for passengers, so that people are often tempted to ride in the bed of the pickup truck. Under Florida law, minors are not allowed to ride in the back of the pickup truck without age appropriate safety restraints. Those over 18 are allowed to ride in the bed of a pickup truck, but should be aware that there are additional risks to driving this way. If the truck driver has to brake suddenly, anyone who is in the pickup truck bed without proper safety belt belts will likely be thrown forward violently. This can easily lead to serious back injuries, head injuries, and even broken bones.

2) Load problems. Many people choose to get pickup trucks in order to carry materials, furniture, and other large items. While this is certainly an advantage of pickup trucks, it can also be a hazard. If you're going to be transporting anything in your pickup truck, it is your responsibility to ensure that the load is correctly secured and is not placing too much of a strain on your tires. If you overload your pickup truck, you could experience a tire blowout, brake malfunction, or other serious problem that can lead to a Homestead truck accident. You also need to ensure that your load is correctly secured so that it does not fly out into lanes of traffic, causing a danger for other drivers.

3) Blind spots. Trucks do have more blind spots than the average passenger vehicle. Truck drivers who drive this type of vehicle need to be aware of the blind spots and need to check them carefully before backing up, turning, or changing lanes. Unfortunately, many Homestead car accidents occur simply because drivers do not take the time to check their blind spots.

4) Driving issues. Pickup trucks handle differently than passenger cars and may take longer to break as well. New drivers, especially, need to give themselves time to get used to the larger vehicle.

Being in a Homestead traffic accident is devastating, and in many cases you can avoid an accident with some precautions. Being aware of the dangers of pickup trucks at taking steps to minimize the risks can ensure that you can enjoy your truck while staying safe.

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October 11, 2011

How Miami Drivers Can Stay Safe When Sharing the Road with Large Trucks

Miami drivers share the roads with bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and all sorts of vehicles – including large commercial trucks. Commercial trucks can weigh 80 000 pounds when fully loads and most passenger vehicles do not stand a chance against a vehicle of that size. Each year, Miami car accidents involving trucks cause fatalities as well as serious injuries. Do not become part of that statistic. Learn how to drive safe around trucks:

1) Avoid a truck’s blind spots. Truck drivers can only see so much around the vehicle, so if you are following immediately behind a truck or are driving along the side of a truck, the truck driver cannot see you. In fact, any time that you cannot see the truck driver in the driver’s mirrors, he or she cannot see you. This means that he can swipe your vehicle or back up into you if you are driving too close.

2) Give a truck extra space when traveling behind a truck. Again, a truck driver cannot see you if you are directly behind the truck. Leaving an extra space ensures that the truck can see you. As well, if the truck has to stop suddenly – and many delivery trucks and other commercial trucks make frequent stops – you will have enough time to stop. If the truck needs to back up suddenly, that extra space can ensure that your vehicle is not hit.

3) If a truck is following too close behind you, get out of the way. When you can move over so that they can pass. Trucks take much longer to stop than passenger vehicles, so a truck tailgating you is a significant problem. If the truck driver needs to stop suddenly, he or she will rear end you if there is not enough room between vehicles.

4) Make lane changes carefully when sharing the road with trucks. Changing lanes rapidly is a risk, because trucks do not respond as quickly as passenger vehicles. When sharing the road with trucks, leave lots of space, use your signal lights well ahead of time, and avoid making sudden moves.

5) Do not engage an aggressive truck driver. While most truck drivers have extensive training and do their best to drive safely, any aggressive truck drivers can be an especial menace. You do not have a chance against an 80 000 pound commercial truck. If you see a truck driver behaving or driving erratically or dangerously, get out of the way and to safety. Then call authorities.

Unfortunately, even if you share the road safely, negligence or recklessness on the part of other drivers or on the part of truck drivers can make the road unsafe for you. If you are injured in a Miami truck accident, get immediate medical help and then call a qualified Miami personal injury attorney. The medical and financial outcomes of a truck accident can be devastating, and you deserve legal advice as well as support as you pursue a fair outcome.

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October 6, 2011

Truck Tips from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

A new initiative from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles could help prevent Homestead truck accidents – as well as traffic accidents throughout Florida. If you live in Homestead or anywhere in South Florida and own a truck, consider these safety tips to drive safely:

1) Keep an eye on your vehicle and yourself. While all drivers on the road have a responsibility to keep other motorists safe, truckers have an especial responsibility as their vehicles can cause even more damage in a Homestead car accident. Ensure that your truck is maintained regularly and responds as needed to help you avoid collisions. As well, ensure that you are in good physical shape to drive. Being well-rested, calm, and fit ensures that you can put your whole focus on the road.

2) Stay distraction-free. Distracted driving is a danger for all motorists, but light trucks have more blind spots, so drivers of these vehicles need to concentrate even harder on the roadway to stay safe.

3) Watch your no-zones. Be aware that your larger truck has more blind spots, and check your blind spots more often. Do not count on other motorists to stay out of your blind spots – many drivers are not aware of how many blind spots trucks have.

4) Drive sober. Homestead drunk driving accidents claim far too many lives. Never drive under the influence, and be sure to check over the counter and prescription medications for side effects; anything that may cause drowsiness is unsafe to use.

5) Leave lots of room. Trucks have more height and are therefore at an advantage when braking. Nevertheless, leave plenty of room for the car in front of you. If the motorist in front of you needs to brake suddenly, the extra room can help you avoid a rear-end collision.

6) Use caution in construction and work zones. Follow signs and slow down. Leave yourself extra room; with the blind spots on a light truck, you may need the extra cushion space.

7) Stay aware of road conditions. Check conditions before you leave, so that you can anticipate problems and hazards. If you see any problems on the roads, report the problem when you can. It is free to do so from your mobile device if you dial *FHP (that is,*347).

8) Give smaller vehicles plenty of room. Homestead bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents are often fatal, especially when trucks are involved. Give pedestrians and bikers extra room, and be aware that riders and walkers can move and maneuver more easily than a truck. An extra cushion of room protects you and gives you a chance to maneuver if a rider or pedestrian makes a move that is unexpected.

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October 4, 2011

Could Towing Irregularities Cause Broward County Trucking Accidents?

A number of complaints have been filed in South Florida pertaining to tow truck operators. In some cases, drivers have complained that tow truck operators have towed their vehicles to far-off lots, have towed their vehicles from legal parking spots, or have charged exorbitant fees. The Broward County consumer affairs department has seen 102 such complaints filed against towing companies since 2009.

Local police in Broward County enforce Florida laws which govern where tow zone signs can be placed and where tow trucks can place cars for storage. Broward County also has specific rules which require towing companies to file a business tax receipt locally. Unlike other counties in Florida, Broward County does not require badges or background checks for tow truck operators.

In Broward County, there are non-consent towing fees. This means that if a driver is parked illegally in a place where they can be towed, Broward County permits tow truck operators to tow that car and charge a flat $100 towing fee. However, some motorists in Broward County have complained about tow truck operators charging additional fees or higher fees. Broward County has reclaimed towing fees in 35 cases where consumers complained about excess fees. Refunds ranged from less than a dollar to $350 in extra fees in each case.

Additional towing charges and being towed from a spot that is not clearly marked as a towing zone is frustrating for motorists. However, it can also be potentially dangerous. Tow trucks who ignore County regulations and tow cars to distant locations for storage in order to collect extra fees spend more time on the road and can increase the risk of truck accidents.

As well, unnecessary towing could potentially be a risk for increased Broward County truck accidents. When tow truck operators tow a vehicle, they can slow down traffic. The process of towing can also create a risk of an accident. While in some cases towing is necessary, in cases where it is not necessary it could be contributing to road congestion and the risk of accidents.

Tow truck operators perform an invaluable service in Broward County. They help motorists whose cars have broken down and they keep tow-away zones clear for emergency vehicles and other important traffic. However, it is important that tow truck operators obey all County laws to ensure that no unnecessary risks are taken. Every step taken to prevent Miami car accidents -- and accidents across Florida -- is a step worth taking.

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September 27, 2011

Losing a Loved one in a Florida Truck Accident

There is nothing more devastating about Florida truck accidents than the high fatality rate these accidents cause. Florida truck accidents often make the news because the sheer force and size of commercial truck accidents often cause dramatic, devastating accidents. These types of accidents claim lives every day, devastating families. If your family has suffered this type of loss, the Flaxman Law Group would like to extend our condolences. In our experience with grieving families, we have found that families who have lost a loved one in a traffic accident may wish to:

1) Take care of themselves and their family. If you have lost a loved one, there are likely many people touched by the loss. Working together as a family and grieving together can help everyone heal.

2) Secure their future. If there are children involved, especially, safeguarding their future is often a family's main concern. Unfortunately, when children lose a parent or family member, they lose support and also financial stability. Seeking a Florida wrongful death suit, if appropriate, after an accident can help children secure the financial resources needed for counseling and for a bright future. Working with a Florida personal injury attorney can be one way to ensure that children's futures are secured.

3) Get answers. After a truck accident, there are often many questions. A family may wish to know what caused the accident and whether it could have been prevented, for example. Answering these questions is often important in order for a family to get much-needed closure. Answering these questions can also help a family secure a fairer settlement, which can help the family pay for memorial services.

4) Make a difference. Although a truck accident fatality is tragic, many families do want to create some good, in order to commemorate a loved one. There are many ways to do this. Some families contribute to a charitable cause, for example, while other families become tireless advocates of road safety, raising awareness to prevent other tragedies.

5) Focus on healing. All families need to focus on healing and moving forward after a devastating loss. Unfortunately, there is often much to do after a loss. Families may need to settle an estate, plan a memorial service, deal with insurance carriers, and answer police questions about the accident. Working with a good Florida attorney can help. A full service law firm such as the Flaxman Law Group, for example, is dedicated to helping injured victims and families every step of the way.

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September 22, 2011

A Florida Truck Accident May Cost More Than You Think

Florida truck accidents can be one of the most expensive accidents on the roads. In many cases, insurance carriers cover only the immediate costs of the accident, but victims often face numerous costs and expenses, including:

1) The cost of car repair or replacement. After a Florida car accident or truck accident, you will need to replace or repair your vehicle. Due to the size of a truck, the most likely scenario is that your car will be beyond repair. If you have a car loan or are making car payments, you will also need to cover these costs, even if the vehicle is no longer functional.

2) Lost income. Recovering from a Florida truck accident can take months or years. If you cannot work during this time, you will need to replace lost income. If you have a permanent injury, you may need to replace a lifetime of income or you may need to take on a lower-paying job and make up for the difference in income.

3) Medical costs. The medical costs after a truck accident can be staggering. Since injuries in a truck accident are more likely to be serious, patients can expect long hospital stays and long treatments, which can add up quickly. Someone who has sustained serious injuries in a truck accident can end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for treatment. Medical costs can include hospital stays, surgery, home care, medication, rehabilitation, doctor visits, and more.

4) Secondary medical costs. In addition to the immediate medical costs, there are often secondary medical costs as well. For example, you may need to pay for a taxi to get to a doctor's appointment or you may need to buy medical devices and equipment, such as crutches or supports. Over months and years, these costs can really add up.

5) Transportation costs. If you are severely injured, you may not be able to drive for some time after your accident. This will mean that you will need to pay for taxis or other forms of transportation as you heal.

6) Alternative care. Many truck accident victims are in severe pain after their accident, and, unfortunately, medical science cannot always help chronic pain patients. Many patients turn to alternative or holistic treatments to supplement medical care and increase the chances of healing. Unfortunately, these costs are usually not covered by insurance, even if the treatments are truly necessary for a patient to help manage severe pain.

7) Accessibility costs. After an accident, a Florida spinal cord injury patient or brain injury patient may have decreased mobility. He or she may need a wheel chair, a wheel chair ramp at home, an accessible vehicle, and other accessibly features for their home. These can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

8) Property damage considerations. Anything in your car at the time of the accident, including digital cameras, jewelry, cell phones, work laptop, mobile devices, and other items, is likely to be damaged in the accident. You will likely need to replace these items, which can also be a substantial investment.

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September 19, 2011

Florida Side Impact Truck Accidents

T-bone accidents cause 9,000 deaths annually in the US. In fact, only head-on crashes are more deadly. The only thing more deadly than a Florida side impact car accident is a Florida truck accident in which a truck t-bones a passenger vehicle. A Florida T-bone truck accident almost always leads to fatalities or very serious injuries for the passengers of the car. The sheer size and force of the truck usually not only crushes the side of the vehicle into the passengers, but the impact of the collision will generally push the car some way before the two cars come to a stop. The sheer impact can cause a fire, serious injuries, and complete destruction of the vehicle.

Since passenger vehicles have less padding on the sides than large trucks, any passengers in the vehicle affected by a T-bone crash with a truck are likely to be severely injured. Even with side impact airbags, which are not standard in all passenger vehicles, the impact of the crash is enough to cause fatal injuries or very serious injuries. In these types of accidents, the driver of the truck is unlikely to be injured, as he or she is seated above the point of impact and protected by a cab.

The frustrating thing about side impact truck accidents for victims is that very often they are extremely preventable accidents. A side impact truck accident in Florida is likely caused by a driver who does not stop for a red light or stop sign or fails to yield right-of-way. This can occur because a driver falls asleep at the wheel, is distracted, or is simply driving aggressively and runs a red light. It can be galling for victims to realize that their serious injuries or even the loss of a loved one is caused by someone who has been driving recklessly or negligently.

If you have been injured in a Florida T-bone accident, you will need a qualified Florida truck accident attorney. Truck carriers usually have teams of attorneys as well as powerful insurance companies working on their behalf. You will need a qualified Florida truck accident attorney to negotiate a fair settlement for you – one that covers the costs of your vehicle, medical bills, lost income, and other expenses. Without the help of a qualified attorney, you may end up paying some of these costs or even a substantial portion of these costs out of pocket. If you have sustained a long term or permanent injury, especially, the costs of your injury over a lifetime may be much higher than you think. Working with a qualified Florida personal injury attorney or truck accident attorney is your best chance of ensuring that you are adequately compensated for someone else's negligence and recklessness. As well, with a fair settlement you may be able to afford high-quality medical care which can help you to heal more fully from your injuries.

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September 15, 2011

Truck Rollover Accidents in Florida

Excessive cornering speed, tripping, collisions, and critical slopes can all contribute to rollover accidents. SUV rollovers and van rollovers are very common, but big rigs and tractor trailers are also at substantial risk for rollover accidents. Large commercial trucks are especially vulnerable to rollover accidents for number reasons:

1) Truck drivers cover many miles of road in their trucks. Since truck drivers are on the road more often, they're naturally a more at risk for Florida car accidents and truck accidents than drivers who drive less frequently. The sheer amount of time spent on the road increases the likelihood that a rollover or other type of Florida truck accident will happen.

2) Trucks are top-heavy. Commercial trucks are designed to carry enormous amounts of cargo, and are often very tall in order to accommodate cargo. Even with a wide wheel track and large wheels, this tends to make trucks very top-heavy and therefore more likely to rollover.

3) Trucks carry heavy, sometimes-unstable loads. A fully loaded truck can weigh many tens of thousands of pounds, and this puts additional pressure and weight at the top of the vehicle, which makes trucks even more top-heavy. As well, cargo may be incorrectly secured, making it shift and making a rollover more likely. In situations where a load is incorrectly secured, there may be multiple liable parties in the event of a truck accident. In some cases, such as when transporting live animals, securing a load so that it does not shift is almost impossible, and increases the risk of a rollover.

4) Truck drivers are under pressure to make deadlines. Truck drivers often need to make certain runs within a certain time limit in order to get their cargo to a destination on time. The additional pressure can encourage drivers to speed, and speeding is a leading cause of rollovers.

5) Tire problems. Trucks, due to their size and weight, place a great deal of pressure on their tires, and this causes to wear down and malfunction more frequently, especially if tires are not maintained correctly or if a truck is carrying too much weight. When Florida tire blowouts or tire problems take place, it is possible for rollovers to occur.

Truck rollover accidents are usually deadly. A truck that has rolled over can obstruct traffic and even cause secondary Florida car accidents. A truck that has rolled over can also easily ignite, especially if the truck is carrying flammable materials. If a truck rolls over into oncoming traffic or into other lanes, other cars are likely to be crushed or severely damaged due to the sheer size of the vehicle. Even though truck drivers are shielded in the cab of the truck, the force and impact of a rollover can lead to serious injuries for a truck driver. Spinal cord injuries and brain injuries are just two of the serious injuries which can occur with a truck rollover accident.

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September 13, 2011

Truck Driving a Dangerous Job: Report

The a 2010 report, the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2010, has revealed that the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. in 2010 included truck driving, fishing, logging, mining and aircraft-related occupations. Many of these occupations are considered dangerous due to the heavy machinery or trucks used. For example, truck drivers drive commercial trucks which sometimes weigh up to 80,000 pounds, so that any accident involving these trucks leads to serious injuries and fatalities. The interesting thing about the other statistics, as well, is that many of the other occupations listed as dangerous also include trucks or heavy vehicles. For example, logging often requires large commercial vehicles in order to move timber. Even in jobs where trucks are not regularly used, such as animal handlers, many of the 2010 fatalities stemmed from transportation accidents. There's no doubt about it: transportation is a major risk in the workplace.

Transportation accidents are in fact a factor in many other dangerous jobs. For example, trash and recycling pick-up workers experience a high rate of injury and fatalities. While this can seem like an unusual statistic, the reality is that trash and recycling pickup workers use large trucks in order to do their jobs. These trucks must make frequent stops and starts in order to pick up garbage and waste. The frequent stops and starts can easily lead to accidents. As well, the drivers and workers must enter and exit the truck several times throughout the day, increasing the risk of a pedestrian accident and other types of accidents.

Accidents on the job are very complex from a legal point of view, as they often concern labor laws, workers compensation rules, and laws surrounding drivers. If you've been injured in a trucking accident on the job, you will need a qualified Florida trucking accident attorney and workers compensation attorney to investigate your accident and to determine whether adequate precautions were taken to keep you safe on the job. There may be multiple liable parties, which can help you get fair compensation in order to cover your medical costs, lost income, and other expenses. No one should be injured on the job. If you have sustained serious injuries in an accident while working, you deserve qualified legal help so that you can understand your options. Good legal help can also help ensure that there is someone to aggressively fight for your rights. Your employer and their insurance carrier have teams of attorneys working for them – don’t you deserve quality legal assistance as well?

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September 8, 2011

Hit and Run Florida Truck and Car Accidents

Each year in the US, 1500 people are killed in hit and run accidents. According to the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety, 18% of victims are pedestrians. In some situations, the hit-and-run offenders are especially blatant, sometimes stepping out of the vehicle in order to move aside and injured pedestrian or victim before speeding off away from the scene of the crime.

There are strict laws in place that require anyone who has been in a car accident to assist any injured party and to exchange information with the other driver or drivers involved in the collision. Failure to do this can result in serious charges. In cases where a Florida hit-and-run accident has taken place, police usually earmark considerable resources to find the offender, and in many cases the offender is eventually caught with public assistance. Once caught, the hit-and-run driver faces numerous additional charges in addition to causing the crash.

Hit and run accidents are especially cruel because they often deny the victim of needed assistance. For example, in a Florida pedestrian accident caused by a Florida hit-and-run driver, the victim may not get help in time if the driver simply speeds off instead of staying to offer assistance or staying in order to call emergency personnel. The delay can be fatal if the victim has sustained a serious brain injury or other life-threatening injury. A hit-and-run driver who simply drives away from the scene of a crime also often makes it harder for the victim to get adequate compensation and insurance money in order to pay for medical costs and other expenses related to the accident.

Much has been written about the psychology of hit and run drivers. Some studies have shown that some drivers speed off away from the scene of a crime because they panic or because they're afraid of facing the consequences of their actions. In other cases, hit and run drivers drive away because they have criminal records, no insurance, or otherwise do not wish to interact with police for some reason. In any event driving away from the scene of an accident is a crime.

If you have been in a hit and run accident, you can pursue criminal charges as well as civil charges. Florida law is very strict about hit and run accidents. If you have been injured by a driver who speeds away, you can seek compensation for your damages. However, you will first need to locate the hit-and-run driver and gather strong evidence against him or her. This is where a Florida truck accident attorney can help. A good Florida accident attorney can investigate your accident, can gather evidence, and can present a case in court so that you get the compensation you may be fully entitled to under the law.

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September 6, 2011

How The Brain Can be Hurt in a Florida Truck Accident

Florida truck accidents are one cause of brain injuries – and brain injuries are a serious problem across the country. According to statistics, one million people seek medical attention in the US every year due to a head injury. Up to 100 000 of these patients have severe and prolonged problems that will affect their lives for a long time. In Florida car accidents and truck accidents, there are a number of ways that the brain can be injured:

1) Bleeding. Even with a low-speed and low impact accident, a collision causes a person's brain to impact against the hard skull. This can occur even if the person does not hit their head on a hard surface. The soft tissue of the brain is pushed violently against the skull, possibly tearing blood vessels and releasing blood into the brain. Since there is no room for the blood, the blood can press against brain tissue, causing areas of the brain to cease working correctly. Critical areas of the brain can be affected, affecting the heart or breathing. One of the most insidious things about this type of injury is that it does not present symptoms right away. A Florida brain injury patient may feel fine after their accident or may assume that they are uninjured because their head did not hit any hard object. However, within hours or minutes, symptoms can manifest rapidly. If the patient does not get help in time, death often occurs.

2) Bruising. Just as with bleeding, this type of injury can occur in a Florida truck accident, even if there is no impact. When the head is whipped back and forth during a truck collision, the brain tissue impacts against the skull, and this can cause bruising to take place. In fact, if the head is thrown back and forth, the Florida brain injury patient may have two bruises – one where the brain impacts the front of the skull and one bruise where the brain tissue impacts against the back of the skull. This is known as a "contra coup" brain injury. As with bleeding, bruising can injure critical areas of the brain.

3) Tearing. The impact of a Florida truck accident can cause tears in the tissues of the brain, especially if the head impacts with a hard object. This can disrupt signals in the brain, leading to serious and permanent injuries or fatalities. Tearing can also be difficult to diagnose, as this type of injury often takes place on a microscopic level. Even CT Scans and MRIs may not necessarily be able to detect small tears in the brain, even though these tears can have a significant impact on a Florida brain injury patient's life for a lifetime.

4) Swelling. If the brain is bruised or injured, it can swell, just like any injured part of the body. Unfortunately, since the brain is encased in the skull, there is no room for swelling. Swelling of brain tissue can create a life-threatening emergency, since the brain tissue will eventually push up against the skull, building pressure and destroying vital areas of the brain. Doctors can install an IC or intra-cranial pressure monitor to relieve pressure caused by swelling.

5) Open injuries. Swelling, bruising, and bleeding are closed-head injuries. They occur even if the skull itself is protected. In some Florida truck accidents, however, the impact is great enough to fracture the skull. With the skull fractured, objects can become imbedded in brain tissue and the tissue can become damaged because the skull is no longer protecting the area.

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August 25, 2011

Are Your Teens Moving to College Safely to Avoid a Florida Truck Accident?

If you have teens moving to college, your teens may wish to hire a rental truck with friends or may be planning on packing their belongings into a car in order to get their belongings safely to their dorm room. However, Florida moving truck accidents do happen, so you want to make sure that you avoid this type of thing from happening to your children. Here's how you can help:

1) Discourage your child from overloading their car with their possessions. Many teens move to college by stuffing as many of their possessions as they can into a car. While it's true that most teens don't have tons of possessions and furniture, overloading a car can still be dangerous. It can obstruct visibility and make it hard for them to see through their rearview mirror or through their side windows. Placing additional pressure on tires can also lead to a tire blow or Florida car accident. If your child is moving with lots of possessions, consider a truck or travel in multiple cars.

2) Discourage your child from renting a truck and driving it themselves across the country or across the state. Rental trucks have varied safety records, and your child may simply not have enough experience with a large truck to drive safely. If your child needs a larger truck, consider hiring professional movers, or urge your child to pool resources in order to move with other college students this fall. Hiring professional movers as part of a group can cost just as little as renting a truck and driving it themselves.

3) Consider driving your child to college yourself. If you have a pickup truck or a larger van, you may be able to fit most of the possessions into this vehicle. If both you and your child have a vehicle, you can distribute your child's possessions between two cars and get to the college safely.

4) Help your child make a good moving choices. Help your teen pack and label possessions correctly, and explore all the options for moving together. There are many low-cost options for moving to college. For example, classified ads often have offers from college students moving at this time of year or looking for someone to share a truck with. This can be a relatively safe way to get your child's possessions to college at a low cost and with less risk.

If your teen does not have extensive experience with driving a truck, it can be dangerous to let your child rent a large truck in order to move their possessions into a dorm room. Similarly, it is very dangerous to overload a passenger car with possessions. Help your teen make the right decisions, to ensure that your child is not a victim of a Florida car accident or truck accident.

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August 23, 2011

Florida Moving Truck Accidents and Moving Safety

Moving companies are busy at this time of year because many families and students move before the start of the school year. Unfortunately, moving also brings risks with it. Each year, Florida truck accidents involving moving trucks cause serious injuries. As well, moving can cause back problems and minor injuries.

If you are moving and you decide to move yourself, carefully consider the truck you will be hiring. Some investigative news reports have found that some rental moving trucks have poor maintenance and safety records. In some cases, customers have complained about poor truck performance. If you do rent a moving truck, try it out first and take the truck to a mechanic you trust to ensure that the truck is road-worthy.

Make sure that you rent the right size of truck and that you pack and load your truck correctly. Overloading a truck can place additional stress on the tires and can lead to tire blowouts. It is a good idea to estimate the weight of your possessions and then to get a truck slightly larger than you need. However, do keep in mind that the larger the truck, the more unlike it will be from a passenger vehicle. Commercial truck drivers have extensive training to drive larger vehicles. Without this type of training, you may feel uncomfortable and be unsafe in a larger truck.

Incorrectly loaded and packed trucks can also be a danger, as they can cause the load to shift while you drive, which can cause you to lose control of the vehicle. Incorrectly loaded moving trucks can also be subject to roll-overs. Distribute the weight evenly inside the truck and secure the load with straps (available at many home building stores and automotive stores) to ensure that the load will not shift before transport.

Give yourself plenty of time to move and move on a day when visibility is good. If you plan on moving yourself with a rented truck, be sure to give yourself plenty of time. You will need time to pack the truck carefully and gradually and you will need time to take the rental truck to a mechanic before you drive it. You may also want to drive the truck around for a short time to get comfortable with the vehicle. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination and try to travel during the daytime, when visibility is better.

Given the dangers of moving yourself, you may want to consider alternatives to moving yourself. Many people choose to move themselves because the costs are much lower than hiring professionals. However, there are alternatives. You can rent a truck yourself and hire a truck driver to drive your possessions to your new destination. There are also "do it yourself" moving companies. These companies will deliver a freight crate to your current address and you can take time filling the crate. When you are done, a professional truck driver will deliver the crate – with all your possessions – to your new address. This costs less than a professional moving service but does not require you to drive a large truck.

If you hire do decide to hire professionals, stay well out of the way. Large commercial moving trucks have many blind spots, so it is important to keep pets and children away from the truck, to avoid accidents.

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August 16, 2011

Could Red-Light Cameras Help Prevent Florida Truck Accidents?

New research and statistics from the Department for Transport in the UK suggests that red-light cameras have not improved accident rates in that region of the world, but have helped cities secure speeding fines. A camera installed in Oxfordshire saw ten fatalities and five car accidents between 1997 and 2002. Before 1997, when the camera was installed, the same intersection had not seen any fatalities or car accidents for five years. In 2009, that camera caught over 3600 drivers exceeding the speed limit. In 1997, another red-light camera was installed at an intersection in Cambridgeshire after the intersection saw five minor collisions. In 2010, that same intersection saw two serious injuries and five smaller injuries as well as 1027 drivers exceeding the speed limit. Of 89 red-light cameras installed in Humberside, 19 of those cameras saw an increase fatal pedestrian accidents after the cameras were installed.

The statistics – and others like them, published in the US, shed concerns about red-light cameras and their use in the US. Red-light camera companies and advocates of the cameras claim that the cameras can help reduce Florida truck accidents and car accidents by forcing drivers to slow down. The cameras are installed on intersections and can automatically capture anyone exceeding the speed limit. Some cameras also capture other traffic violations, such as running red lights or making illegal turns. When the cameras capture a violation, they can determine the driver responsible from the license plate number. The driver is then sent a ticket, with the time, date, and location of the alleged violation.

Red-light cameras have hit other speed bumps in the US, however. Some states have questioned the very legality of the system because the tickets are sent automatically whereas in many states traffic tickets must be written up by police officers or must be served by process servers. In some cases, drivers have successfully been able to argue their case in court in order to have their tickets dismissed. Others have simply ignored their tickets and have left it up to red-light camera companies to pursue payment.

The real concern, however, is whether red-light cameras can really help prevent Florida car accidents and traffic crashes. Advocates of the cameras claim that the cameras are ever-present and so discourage drivers from violating rules because drivers know that they will get caught automatically. As well, advocates of the cameras claim that red light cameras have been proven to reduce car accidents. Indeed, some US-based studies have suggested that red light cameras can reduce traffic violations at an intersection. As well, red light cameras can theoretically help free up law enforcement professionals and resources for more serious concerns. Opponents suggest that the cameras are a cash-grab for cities who want to increase revenues with traffic tickets.

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July 19, 2011

Expert Tips for Preventing Florida Truck Accidents

If you drive a passenger vehicle, your car stands no chance against a large tractor trailer in a collision. Each year, many lives are lost due to Florida truck accidents, but there are things you can do to help protect yourself and your loved ones, according to law enforcement and other experts:

1) Stay alert to existing Florida car accidents and truck accidents. Listen to the radio or check the traffic reports before leaving home, so that you can avoid congested areas and accident sites – which have higher risks of accidents. The Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) has even launched a new Florida 511 iPhone application as a free download on iTunes. The app provides free real-time traffic information for Florida's major roadways and can be used with GPS to help drivers keep track of accidents near their current location.

2) Keep your car in good condition. When your car is well-maintained, it handles more reliably, allowing you to get out of dangerous situations. Check your car's owner manual to determine what basic maintenance your vehicle needs and then schedule the needed maintenance.

3) Avoid distracted driving. You cannot drive near trucks safely if you are texting or talking on the phone while driving. Trucks take longer to stop and may make unexpected stops. You need to be alert, and that means putting your mobile devices away while you are on the road. Avoid other distractions, too. Changing CDs in your car, having animated conversations with passengers, or eating while driving can all be fatal mistakes.

4) Drive sober – and well rested. Both fatigued driving and drunk driving affect your motor skills and your response times. To prevent a truck accident, you may need to act fast, and you cannot do that if you are not at your best. Florida drunk driving accidents and accidents caused by fatigued drivers are very preventable, so work to prevent these accidents from happening to you.

5) Get some good coaching. If you have had more than one or two near-accidents or Florida car accidents in the past year, it is a good idea to get some additional driver training. Most drivers believe that their driver education ends when they get their license, but in fact the world's best drivers – including race car drivers and stunt car drivers – get continuing education to improve their skills. If you need to, consider a refresher course, a racing school course, or defensive driving course. In some cases, you may even be able to enjoy a car insurance discount as you enjoy safer driving.

6) Make provisions for commercial trucks. Driving near other passenger vehicles is not the same as driving near large commercial trucks. Large trucks require more room, and it is important to ensure that truck drivers can see you. Learn to respect the larger vehicles on the road and you will keep yourself and your loved ones safer.

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July 14, 2011

What to Take Down After a Florida Truck Accident

Florida truck accidents and car accidents are two of the most common causes for personal injuries. Unfortunately, due to the size and force of trucks, truck accidents in the state tend to lead to especially severe injuries. If you have been in a Florida traffic accident, your first aim should be to get medical attention. Some patients – including Florida brain injury patients – need immediate medical attention to prevent complications and to increase the chances of survival. However, if you do not need medical attention, you should gather some information at the scene of the accident. Among the items of information to gather are:

Information about the other truck or car and driver. Gather, if you can, the name, driver's license number, address, and phone number of the driver. As well, write down the make and type of truck or car, as well as the car year and license number. In the event of a commercial truck, write down the location where the truck came from and the truck carrier or the owner of the truck as well. If the other driver makes a statement or seems impaired, note this. As well, write down any details of the passengers in the other car or truck. This should include the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all passengers in the other car or truck. Finally, write down the insurance information for the other driver. You will need to reciprocate and share the same information with the other driver involved in the accident.

Information about any witnesses on the scene. Take down names, phone numbers, and addresses of anyone who saw the accident. Their testimony may be very important if you need to take legal action.

Information about any wrecker services used. Write down the tow services or wrecker services used for your car or any car or truck involved in the accident. Write down the name of two truck operator and the name of the service, if possible.

Any details about the conditions of the accident. Write down the location, time, and date of the accident, as well as any pertinent conditions regarding weather, lighting, road conditions, traffic conditions, visual obstructions, and anything else which may have contributed to the accident. If there are specific weather conditions or other conditions which may have contributed to the accident, you may want to take photos at the scene, if you have a camera handy.

Other details about the conditions and aftermath of the accident. Note the speed at which you were going, and any traffic controls in the area. If someone is cited to be at fault, note the details, including the reason given. Note who was wearing seatbelts and who was not, as well as the direction each car was traveling. Note the location of the impact and the damage done to the car as well as any damage done to the street or landmarks in the area.

It is always better to take down more details than fewer. If you are in doubt, write in down, as you will start to forget details soon after your accident. If you have been taken to hospital, you can jot down a few details while waiting for tests. However, focus on your health first. If you cannot get details of the accident because you are rushed to the hospital, don’t worry: law enforcement will get the details of the accident. If you decide to pursue legal action, a Florida personal injury attorney can work with private investigators and accident reconstruction professionals to determine the details of the crash. However, since evidence only lasts for so long, it is important to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible after your accident.

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July 12, 2011

Do Texting and Handheld Phone Bans Help Prevent Florida Truck Accidents?

Many states – including Nevada, recently – have bans prohibiting hand held cell phone use or texting while driving. No state has a blanket ban on mobile devices, so even the stricter states allow the use of hands-free mobile devices. In many cases, these devices have features which allow users to dial numbers and even send and receive text messages without taking their eyes off the road. The idea behind these devices is that they are safer because they do not require drivers to look down to check messages or dial a number, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road. Currently, Florida has no bans on cell phone use or texting while driving, even though a number of attempts have been made to pass this type of legislation.

While a number of experts and residents believe that Florida should follow the lead of other states and pass cell phone bans and texting bans for drivers, new studies by the Governors Highway Safety Association cast doubt on the idea that such bans could help reduce Florida car accidents and truck accidents. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, cell phone bans do not necessarily reduce the number of traffic collisions. While numerous studies – including the Governors Highway Safety Association research – show that distracted drivers are more at risk of accidents than non-distracted drivers, the new study does not show a clear correlation between the use of hands-free devices and lower car accident and truck accident rates.

The Governors Highway Safety Association research examines nine states that have instituted a cell phone ban. Researchers found that drivers are distracted by many things – up to half of their driving time. However, researchers in the study also found that drivers adapt to the use of the phone and pay more attention to the road. Another study, by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also found that states with hands-free and no texting legislation actually experienced an increase in the number of traffic crashes after their new legislation. According to experts, part of the problem is that after texting and cell phone bans, many drivers continue to take part in the risky behavior – but place their mobile devices in their lap so that they will not be caught and ticketed. With mobile devices in their laps, drivers spend more time with their eyes off the road – and are therefore more likely to cause a truck or car accident.

Currently, commercial truckers in Florida and across the US are prohibited from texting while driving. As well, truck drivers must adhere to a number of rules about hours of service and rest stops. Nevertheless, truck drivers are still sometimes involved in fatal Florida truck accidents because of texting and driving or cell phone use while driving. As well, while commercial trucks are banned from texting and driving, in Florida passenger vehicles are not subject to these same restrictions and drivers of these cars can and do cause serious traffic collisions.

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July 7, 2011

Child Victims of Florida Truck Accidents

When trucks collide with passenger vehicles, everyone in the passenger vehicle is immediately at high risk of serious injury. In cases where children are in the passenger vehicle, the outcome can be even worse for them. Since trucks are so much larger than cars, the force of the impact is likely to leave passenger car victims with severe injuries. Since children are smaller, their injuries can easily become life-threatening.

As well, while car manufacturers create a number of safety systems for adult drivers and passengers – including safety belts and air bags – these same systems often cannot protect young children. Indeed, for very young children, air bags can pose a danger of head injuries while seat belts can lead to lacerations. Parents are expected to provide safety seats and age-appropriate child safety restraints for their children.

However, laws in Florida re quite lax when it comes to booster seats for children. In fact, only Arizona, Florida, and South Dakota do not have any booster seat requirements for young passengers, even though booster seats and other age-appropriate child safety restraints have been shown to decrease the risk of fatalities and injuries in young passengers in the event of a truck accident or car accident. While parents can – and often do – choose to get age-appropriate child safety restraints for their children, they are not required by law, in many cases, to do so.

Adults in Florida truck accidents often suffer from spinal cord injuries, broken bones, brain injuries, and other serious injuries. Each year, many adults die in truck accidents and traffic accidents. However, there are many things that can be done to help prevent child fatalities in such accidents. One of the most important things drivers can do is to ensure that all child passengers always use an age-appropriate child safety restraint.

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July 4, 2011

Are Commercial Trucks Less Likely to be in a Florida Truck Accident?

Commercial trucks are subject to strict federal rules which ensure operator safety. Drivers of these trucks need special training and must observe hours of service rules as well. Does this mean that commercial trucks are actually less likely to be involved in Florida car accidents and truck accidents?

While commercial trucks, such as tractor trailers, are in fact involved in fewer accidents – they are only involved in about 2.4% of all national traffic accidents – and are less likely to be in an accident than a passenger vehicle, the impact of these fewer accidents is very high. While the number of commercial truck accidents is lower than the number of car accidents, the devastation caused by the fewer number of truck accidents is immense.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 11% of all traffic fatalities in 2008 were the result of large truck accidents. That year, 4,229 fatalities occurred as a result of truck accidents. Of these fatalities, 74% involved the passengers of a car. Quite simply, when a large commercial truck is in an accident with a passenger vehicle, the passengers of the smaller car are at very high risk of serious and life-threatening injuries.

Large commercial trucks are also more likely to cause multiple-car accidents, simply due to their size. The amount of time it takes a truck to stop is longer and the length of the truck is also longer than that of a passenger car. When a truck brakes during a collision, the truck will likely travel the car-length of several passenger vehicles – hitting any cars that happen to be in the way.

A number of Florida truck accidents can be avoided. Operator safety issues, such as driver rests and monitoring of driver logs, can have an important impact in terms of reducing accidents. As well, reducing incentives for speeding and fatigued driving – incentives such as pay per mile – can also help encourage truck drivers to make safety a priority.

However, in many cases, passenger car drivers also need to be addressed. Some statistics suggest that as many as three-quarters of all truck accidents involving passengers cars are the fault of the passenger car. Better driver education and more education programs for passenger drivers can help teach these drivers how to safely share the road with trucks.

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July 1, 2011

Could a Lowered Rate of Fork Lift Truck Accidents in the UK Help Prevent Similar Florida Truck Accidents?

The Health & Safety Executive has reported that since the Fork Lift Truck Association's National Fork Lift Safety Week initiative was launched, UK has seen fatal fork lift truck accidents decline by two thirds. In 2006/7, 16 workers in the UK died due to such accidents, while in 2009/10, five workers were killed in these accidents. This is the third improvement in statistics.

Experts in the UK have reported that fork lift truck accidents are among the most dangerous accidents for workers. Even with the recent reductions in the number of these fatal truck accidents, there were 369 serious but non-fatal fork lift truck accidents in the UK in the past year – an average of one serious accident per year. Many of these accidents were life changing amputations, brain injuries, and other such serious incidents.

Can Florida learn from the UK example to reduce the instances of Florida truck accidents? There certainly seem to be a number of take-away lessons from the UK example:

1) Truck accidents can be reduced through effort. Although many people see accidents as an unavoidable reality of life, the UK example shows that the number of accidents overall can be reduced with concerted effort. Statistics prove that over three consecutive periods, the number of fatal truck accidents dropped. The statistics were also adjusted for the economic downturn, so it is not only the recession that is helping to reduce the accident rates in the UK.

2) Education is key. The Fork Lift Truck Association's National Fork Lift Safety Week was introduced in 2008 to help educate workers and the public about safety and to promote safety best standards. This program is credited for helping to reduce fatal fork lift accidents across the UK.

3) Training is important. The Fork Lift Truck Association's National Fork Lift Safety Week focuses on different safety topics every Safety Week. Recently, the Fork Lift Truck Association has been focusing on training, with the slogan "more skills, less spills." According to the Fork Lift Truck Association, poor training increases the risk of serious accidents.

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June 30, 2011

Truck Proposals Could Change Rates of Florida Truck Accidents

Federal lawmakers are considering transportation bills which would, over the next few years, change a number of things about the trucking industry. Some experts are concerned about a proposal in the bills which would allow higher weight limits and which would permit trucks on more roads across the country. Some experts are concerned that such changes could affect the rates of Florida car accidents and truck accidents on the road.

The bills would increase truck weight limits from 80 000 pounds to 97 000 pounds for single-trailer commercial trucks on state highways and interstate roadways. Trucks with two or three trailers would be permitted up to 100 000 pounds. As well, trucks with two or three trailers will be allowed the entire national highway system rather than on interstate roads.

According to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman, the bills could be put to a vote before committee by July 12. The suggested legislation would also place a tax on trucks over the weight limit. This money would be placed in a fund and distributed to states to assist with road repairs and bridge work.

There are many concerns about the proposed changes. Many legislators, for example, have pointed out that cars are currently getting smaller as more consumers look for fuel economy in their passenger cars. Combining smaller cars with larger trucks could create even more devastating Florida car accidents involving cars, whereby smaller cars would have no chance against very large commercial trucks. There is also concern that the larger trucks would have very large blind spots and would not be able to safely share the roads with motorcycles, bicyclists and others who use the road system.

There is also a concern that the larger trucks could create problems on residential streets. While the proposed legislation allows very large trucks only on the national highway system, when a section of the system is closed due to an accident or another cause, traffic is often rerouted through residential areas. There is a concern that 100 000 pound trucks would be on residential streets in such cases, posing the risk of Florida pedestrian accidents and other types of traffic accidents.

Other experts have noted that much larger trucks could create load problems and could make the roadways deteriorate faster, due to the weight and force of the larger vehicles. Those in the trucking industry have noted that improved technology in the trucking industry would potentially help offset some of these problems. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee also notes that allowing the proposed changes would allow businesses to be more competitive and efficient, which would beneficial to the economy.

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June 27, 2011

Preventing Miami Truck Accidents With Design

A blogger writing for TransitMiami, has recently written about the large number of accidents along Biscayne Boulevard. These accidents often reportedly include high speeds and in recent months have resulted in damage to light poles and storefronts. According to the blogger, some of the problem stems from design and suggests some of the ways that Miami truck accidents and car accidents along this road could be prevented:

1) Changing the design speed of the road. The design speed of Biscayne Boulevard in Upper East Side (where many of the accidents have been taking place) is 45 mph, and the posted speed limit is 35 mph. The TransitMiami blog suggests a design speed of 35 mph.

2) Re-striping scenario in order to bring back parallel parking to the street. The MiMo Business Improvement Committee (BIC) has made this suggestion to District 6 Secretary for the Florida Department of Transportation. Creating parallel parking in the area would encourage cars and trucks to slow down, BIC believes, and would also provide a layer of protection for pedestrians, helping to prevent Miami pedestrian accidents in the area.

3) Adding traffic calming design features. According to the City of Miami’s Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan (MCNP), such devices can include wide sidewalks, different lane widths, medians, landscaping, roundabouts, lighting; and signage. All of these features make the area more like a neighborhood and less like a highway, encouraging motorists to slow down.

4) Enforcement. While improved design can help reduce the speed and therefore the number of accidents, enforcement is still an important part of the equation, ensuring that motorists obey the rules of the road. An enforcement campaign targeting the area specifically could help prevent accidents along the street.

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June 25, 2011

Summer Can Mean More Trucks on the Road – and a Larger Risk of Florida Truck Accidents

Summertime does pose a higher risk of Florida car accidents and truck accidents. There are many reasons for this:

1) Tourist season means busy businesses. Florida is a major tourist destination in the summer, and theme parks and amusement parks in the state are filled with tourists. Plenty of events and summer business, however, also means that more trucks are needed to make deliveries to businesses. Unfortunately, more trucks on the roads can also mean a higher risk of collisions.

2) Heavier car and pedestrian traffic. Florida streets really fill up during the summer. There are more pedestrians taking part in summer activities, and more drivers on the road taking part in summer road trips. More buses ferry tourists to major sites and children to summer camp. There are even more trucks on the road due to a heavier construction and road work schedule. All this extra traffic and congestion can cause tempers to fray and can easily lead to traffic accidents.

3) Hot weather can mean more truck tire blowouts. Florida tire defects are a serious problem for truck drivers, since trucks tend to be very hard on tires. In the summer heat, however, even good tires can wear down more easily and suffer blowouts as the rubber is affected by the heat.

4) Summer can be harder on drivers that need to drive long distances. The glare of the sun and the hot weather can create exhaustion and can make it easier for already tired drivers to fall asleep at the wheel. Truck drivers, who must often drive very long distances in the blinding sun and stifling heat, can be especially vulnerable.

5) More Florida drunk driving accidents. Unfortunately, there are more drunk drivers on the roads in the summer. Patios serve beer at restaurants and many summer events and parties serve alcohol. Worse, the summer heat and sun can magnify the effects of alcohol, making accidents even more likely.

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June 23, 2011

North Miami Hopes to Reduce Florida Truck Accidents with Ordinance

North Miami has proposed an ordinance which would require food trucks, which appear regularly at such events as the Biscayne Triangle Truck Round-Up, to get licenses and permits. The proposal, if successful, would charge food trucks $167 yearly and $50 one-time fee to pay for a background check. Currently, food trucks in the area do not need permits or checks to operate in the area. Although there are no statistics suggesting that food trucks contribute to Florida truck accidents, some have raised concerns:

1) The industry is less regulated than the commercial trucking industry. Commercial trucks are subject to many rules. Drivers are usually trained and must obey rules about hours of service and other laws. Food trucks, however, are less regulated, and the North Miami ordinance would at least require background checks on those operating the trucks.

2) The trucks congregate in parking lots. This has the potential to cause accidents as trucks back up or pull into the lot. There are no reports of such accidents, but some feel that the sheer numbers of food trucks could create such accidents.

3) The trucks usually require some form of fuel for food preparation. While most operators take precautions to ensure a safe work environment, some people point out that parking lots are a bad place to set up food trucks that include additional sources of fuel. Any fire in such a truck has the potential to cause a serious conflagration.

4) The trucks attract pedestrians. Some worry that the trucks could contribute to Florida pedestrian accidents because they attract large numbers of pedestrians. As well, since these trucks often set up shop near parking lots or in parking lots, the trucks can produce more pedestrian traffic in areas with many cars, creating a large risk for Florida car accidents.

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June 21, 2011

Florida Truck Accidents Involving Homes

Most Florida car accidents and truck accidents involve other vehicles, pedestrians, and inanimate objects such as telephone poles. However, in some cases, trucks and cars in Florida plow into homes. In many cases, these are Florida drunk driving accidents or accidents involving loss of control of the vehicle or a pedal error (such as when the driver mistakes the accelerator for the brake. Such an accident occurred in Cocoa, Florida in January and another took place in Palm Bay in May. Brevard County has in fact seen a few such accidents in 2011.

The results of these accidents can be devastating, especially when the vehicle involved is a truck. Due to the size and force of a truck, the truck can plow right into the house and tear down walls. Both the driver and the occupants of the home are likely to sustain serious injuries. There are many types of damages which typically occur in this type of Florida accident, including severe property damage and serious injuries. There are many reasons why such accidents result in such severe damages:

1) Many accidents involve high rates of speed. While there are no statistics concerning such crashes specifically, authorities have stated that such accidents occur fairly often and often do involve high speeds, since often the drivers are intoxicated or have hit the accelerator by mistake. The high speed causes the impact of the crash to be greater.

2) Walls are often torn down. In this type of accident, the sheer size and force of the vehicle is often enough to push down walls and barriers, crushing anyone behind the walls.

3) In many cases, there is structural damage to the home. This sort of collision can compromise the foundation or walls which are structurally important to the home. In some cases, the home cannot be salvaged or requires very extensive (and expensive) repairs.

4) The vehicle sustains serious damages. In many cases, the vehicle doing the damage is also seriously injured and the driver usually is killed or sustains serious injury.

5) The occupants of the home are typically not prepared. In a Florida car accident, victims may have only seconds to respond but may have at least a few seconds to try defensive driving. In a situation where a vehicle crashes into a home, there is typically no warning and occupants often have no time at all to get to safety.

6) There is a risk of fire. This type of collision can easily lead to a fire since the crash of the truck through walls can harm electrical wiring and gar lines and can also create sparks.

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June 18, 2011

Florida Truck Accidents Involving Delivery Trucks

While large commercial tractor trailers get a lot of attention in discussions of Florida truck accident risks, delivery trucks are also a danger on the state's roads. Delivery truck accidents can lead to the same serious injuries and to fatalities. As well, there are a number of factors that make delivery trucks especially dangerous:

1) There are a great many delivery trucks on the roads. In addition to major courier services, most cities have local couriers as well as a host of local companies offering delivery service. The large number of delivery trucks increase the odds that these vehicles will be in accidents.

2) Driver training varies widely. Commercial truck drivers are required by federal law to meet specific training requirements and to commit to specific job-safety standards (such as hours of service regulations). This is also true of delivery truck drivers working for large national companies. However, local companies with drivers operating smaller trucks often are not required to adhere to such regulations.

3) The pressures of the job. Delivery truck drivers – especially drivers working for couriers – are under a great deal of pressure to deliver packages under very strict deadlines. This can lead to mistakes, speeding and carelessness that can lead to serious accidents.

4) Delivery trucks often deliver items to residential areas. While commercial tractor trailers largely drive on highways, delivery trucks generally make deliveries to residential addresses – including addresses in areas where a driver may not be familiar with a specific neighborhood. This can increase the risk of Florida pedestrian accidents involving such trucks.

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June 17, 2011

Two Recent Florida Truck Accidents Show the Dangers of Driving

Two recent truck accidents in Florida have made headlines and have highlighted some of the risks on Florida roads. In one incident, well-known professional wrestler Randy “Macho Man” Savage suffered a heart problem while driving his Jeep truck. His heart was on the accelerator when he lost consciousness due to ventricular fibrillation (VF) and lost control of his vehicle. His wife, who was a passenger in the car with him, steered the car away from the traffic and into a tree. Many experts believe that her actions helped prevent a more serious Florida car accident. Sadly, Randy “Macho Man” Savage passed away as a result of VF.

In the second incident, a 29-year old man in Florida caused a 5-car accident and $44,000 in damages when he dropped his cell phone in his car and bent down to pick it up. Since his eyes were not on the road, he did not notice when the cars in front of him stopped and he plowed his truck into four cars and then crossed lines of traffic before ending in a ditch. He was charged with careless driving.

That incident highlights the dangers of distracted driving – and shows that not all distracted driving is caused by texting while driving. Any activity that takes your eyes off the road is dangerous and can lead to charges filed against you. Even taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds can mean that you don’t have time to react to a stopped car or a pedestrian and can cause you to be in a Florida car accident.

Both accidents also show how quickly Florida truck accidents can happen. A sudden medical emergency or a moment's distraction cause thousands of Florida car accidents and truck accidents each year and each such accident can result in fatal injuries that can change families in tragic ways. While there may be no way to predict a medical emergency, there are ways to help prevent Florida truck accidents and car accidents.

For example, drivers can place possessions – including cell phones – safely in the glove compartment or the trunk. In the event of a collision, this prevents these objects from becoming airborne. Each year, victims in car accidents are seriously injured by flying objects inside a car, so the fewer items you have loose in your car the less likely you are to be injured and the less likely you are to be distracted. Turning off your mobile devices and putting them away entirely is also an important safety precaution. The temptation to just take a quick peek at your messages can be strong – and that one quick peek can result in a tragic accident.

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June 14, 2011

Will Plans to Change Cargo Ship and Train Access Affect Florida Truck Accident Rates?

New plans by the government could improve the economy in Florida while also possibly helping to prevent Florida truck accidents. A new government plan will divert some cargo traffic from trucks to a Florida East Coast Railway line that runs between Hileah and the Port of Miami. The move – slated to cost millions – could remove up to 5% of truck traffic between the cities and could reduce downtown Miami traffic by 1.4%. Since heavy traffic is considered a contributing factor to both Florida car accidents and truck accidents, one can’t help but wonder whether the move will help reduce collisions.

Changes to the railway line could be finished by 2012, thanks to a $22.7 million grant from the government and a further $10.9 million from the Florida Department of Transportation. Miami-Dade County will contribute $4.8 million to the project. The rail will help to get rid of 60 000 truck trips each year between Miami and Dodge Island.

The Miami Access Tunnel project is also underway. The two tunnels now being constructed will connect the port of Miami to Watson Island. This project, too, will help remove some truck traffic and other types of traffic from Miami. According to the Florida Department of Transportation, 16 000 vehicles each day travel through Miami's downtown to get to or from the port. This includes about 4, 480 cargo trucks, or about 28% of all traffic. Each year, this amounts to 1.16 million trucks and 4.16 million vehicles traveling in the downtown area due to the Port of Miami. Diverting some of that traffic could have an impact on traffic and therefore the risk of collisions.

Experts believe that up to 80% of passenger cars traveling from the Port of Miami and to the area can start to use the Miami Access Tunnel once that is completed. However, there are plans underway to make Miami and Florida in general a cargo capital, and there are concerns that this could mean more traffic in the area over the long term. When the Panama Canal expands in 2014, more cargo and larger ships could eventually start heading for Florida. Experts believe that by 2015 and 2016, the Port of Miami will start to see a large increase in the number of cargo ships destined for the port.

So far, no research has been published about how the changes in the Panama Canal may affect truck traffic or Florida truck accident rates across the state. The construction of the Miami Access Tunnel and the changes to divert more traffic to railways may help to offset some of the traffic, but hopefully more research will be done to determine the effects of the changes on overall traffic and traffic accident rates.

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June 10, 2011

Researcher Questions Truck Accident Data

Dr. Ronald R. Knipling has questioned some of the research submitted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as support of its hours of changes regulation revisions. Dr. Knipling used to work at the research division of the FMCSA and noted that the published study by researchers Pennsylvania State University was not of much use because of problems with the sample of drivers in the study. As well, Dr. Knipling noted that other factors involved in the crashes studies were not closely analyzed.

Dr. Knipling also found problems with a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. He also noted that the FMSCA's reference to a study of Florida bus drivers in terms of hours of service regulations did not make sense, as the study might be useful in studying Florida bus accidents, but not interstate truck driving risks. Dr. Knipling has done his own research into fatigued driving and has found several risk factors that can contribute to truck accidents:

1) Fatigue associated with lack of sleep is associated with truck accidents. Fatigue related to work schedules and driving does not contribute as significantly to truck accidents, according to Dr. Knipling.
2) Fatigue associated with being awake for more than 16 hours at a time contributes to truck accidents.
3) Early morning driving contributes to car accidents. Due to increased exposure, Dr. Knipling also concluded that truck accidents are more likely during daytime driving.

The questions over research studies highlight some of the challenges of creating hours of service and other regulations to prevent trucking accidents. While the FMSCA works to prevent Florida truck accidents and accidents across the country, it can be difficult to determine which measures may be most effective in preventing such collisions.

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June 8, 2011

Help Your Teen Avoid a Florida Truck Accident

Teen drivers across the state have higher rates of Florida car accidents, and experts believe that this is the case because younger drivers simply have less experience when it comes to dealing with common road hazards and situations. For example, many teen drivers have little experience sharing the road with trucks. To ensure that your teen has the skills to avoid a collision with a truck, make sure that you:

1) Have your teen sign a no-distracted-driving and no-drinking-and-driving agreement. You can find such pledges on the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) website or you can devise your own. It’s important to really explain to your teen the dangers of drinking and driving or driving distracted, as these behaviors greatly increase the risk of a Florida truck accident.

2) Go over the rules of driving around trucks. Better yet, take your teen out in a car and teach them the basics of allowing extra room behind a truck and the basics of passing a truck safely. Do not just assume that your teen was taught about sharing the road with trucks in driver's education. Your teen may not have absorbed that information enough to apply it easily.

3) Pay for extra training for your teen or ask your teen to get extra training before giving your new driver car privileges. Most teen driver programs cover a lot of ground and some include minimal in-car instruction. Extra defensive training or extra in-car lessons with a qualified instructor can be very helpful in giving your teen some extra skills and experience.

4) Limit the behaviors that can cause your teen driver to get into a car accident. When you allow your teen to drive, consider placing a limit on the number of passengers your teen can have in the car while driving. As well, if you live in a small community, consider limiting your teen to non-highway roads for a few weeks or a few months. Once your teen gains confidence and experience on smaller and less busy roads, you can then permit your teen to share the road with trucks.

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June 5, 2011

Losing Someone in a Florida Truck Accident

Truck accidents claim thousands of lives in Florida each year. If you have lost a loved one in a Florida truck accident, the devastation can be very traumatic. The loneliness, hurt, and upset can take many years to heal. When a loss has been caused by a driver's negligence or recklessness, the loss can sometimes be even harder to accept.

If you have lost a loved one in a traffic accident, your immediate concern will likely be with arranging for memorial or funeral services. You will also need time to grieve and there will likely be estate issues to deal with as well. However, if the accident was caused by negligence or recklessness, you will also want to consult with an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney.

Waiting after an accident to file a claim reduces the chances of success, because important evidence will be lost and because there are statutes of limitations in these cases. Although it can be difficult to think of legal action at a time of grieving, it is important to at least consider all your options. A consultation with the Flaxman Law Group can help you understand your choices and can help you move forward.

Florida law allows you to recover for end-of-life costs, medical costs, and other related costs in cases of a fatal car or truck accident that was caused by negligence or recklessness. Pursuing the claim you may be entitled to under the law can help protect your family and can leave you with some financial security as you work to heal. The Flaxman Law Group is compassionate and has worked with many grieving families in Coral Gables, Miami, and throughout South Florida. We take care of all the details, so that you can focus on healing.

It can be a difficult decision to contact an attorney after a devastating loss, but it can be an important part of the healing process. A Florida personal injury attorney can investigate the accident to provide you with some answers and some peace of mind. A good attorney can also pursue your case and in some cases can even help save other families from such a loss. If the accident which caused your loved one was a Florida drunk driving accident or was caused by dangerous driving, legal action can ensure that those involved are held responsible. In some cases, legal action can bring about changes that can help prevent further tragedies.

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June 3, 2011

The Emotional and Financial Realities of Florida Truck Accidents

Florida truck accidents have an immediate and physical result. Drivers see the incredible physical devastation these accidents cause every day on the roadways, and emergency rooms and hospitals in Florida are filled with patients experiencing the immediate physical effects of burn injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and other injuries caused by truck accidents. However, there are also emotional and financial outcomes of truck accidents, which, although less immediately obvious, are no less devastating to victims.

Victims of Florida car accidents and truck accidents often find that once they are discharged from the hospital, the financial realities of their situation become very evident. Most victims of truck accidents in Florida are not able to return to work immediately; some have permanent injuries which ensure that they are never able to return to work. Therefore, these patients find that their source of income disappears at about the same time as substantial medical bills start arriving from the hospital and from doctors.

Treatment for Florida brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other common injuries caused by truck accidents, can easily total tens of thousands of dollars a year. Many patients find that their insurance providers are reluctant to pay the substantial bills outright. At the same time, the usual bills, such as the mortgage and the credit card bills, continue to arrive, adding to the financial stress and the upset of the patient who is still trying to recover from the physical trauma of the accident.

The terror caused by the accident and the injuries, coupled with the financial strain of the accident, often causes emotional repercussions. Many individuals who have been in a Florida truck accident report disrupted sleep, mood swings, an altered appetite, depression, anger, and other signs of stress and trauma. However, in some cases insurance companies are reluctant to pay for therapy or counseling.

Luckily, there are provisions in Florida law which can help victims of truck accidents. If you have been in a truck accident in Florida, contact a qualified Florida personal injury attorney. A good attorney can investigate the case for you, negotiate with insurance providers and even pursue the case through the court system to ensure that you get the support you need to focus on healing.

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June 1, 2011

Brain Injuries and Truck Accidents

Many Florida brain injury patients sustain their injury in truck accidents and traffic accidents on Florida roads. Unfortunately, Florida truck accidents are more likely than other types of traffic accidents to lead to fatal and permanent brain injuries. The force of a large truck can effectively crush a passenger vehicle and the occupants inside, leading to devastating losses. Common brain injuries in Florida truck accidents include:

1) Whiplash. Whiplash can occur when the head and neck area is injured due to sudden, rapid movement. In a truck accident, this can often occur when a car collides with a truck and comes to an abrupt stop. Whiplash is hard to detect in MRIs and other scans, making it difficult to diagnose. Unfortunately, this condition can also leave a patient unable to work and unable to resume everyday activities for months.

2) Traumatic brain injury. Brain injury can also occur when the brain pushes or slams up against the inside of the skull, usually in response to a head injury where the victim's head collides with a hard surface (such as a dashboard). When this happens, the brain may swell, bruise, or even bleed, potentially leading to brain damage. This type of injury may be permanent or may take years to heal. Some patients are unable to resume their jobs or everyday tasks. In some cases, such injuries are fatal.

3) Puncture injuries. In a truck accident, objects in a car can easily become airborne and can easily become lodged in the skull due to the impact of the crash. When an object punctures the skull, it typically causes widespread trauma which is often fatal. In cases where a patient survives this type of injury, the brain damage caused may be permanent.

If you have sustained a brain injury in a Florida truck accident, it is important to contact a qualified Florida personal injury attorney. Brain injuries are hard to diagnose and difficult to treat. Florida brain injury patients often spend years and in some cases a lifetime trying to recover from their injuries. Good recovery requires considerable resources, as the treatment options for these types of injuries are expensive. A good attorney can help you pursue a settlement or compensation, so that you are able to afford the treatment options you deserve.

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May 30, 2011

Distracted Truck Driving Leads to Accidents in Florida

In the last few years, there has been more awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. In fact, new regulations have been passed over the past three years which make it illegal for commercial truck drivers and government employees on the job to text and drive. As well, victims who are injured in a Florida truck accident caused by a distracted driver can usually pursue the driver in court for negligence.

Despite this, however, distracted driving continues to cause Florida car accidents and truck accidents everywhere. These accidents continue to claim lives and cause hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. Part of the problem is that while steps are being taken to address texting and driving, the larger role of distracted driving is not being addressed.

The reality is that distracted driving is not just about texting. Distracted driving can occur every time that a truck driver removes his or her focus or eyes from the road. Distracted driving can happen when a truck driver is changing a CD, talking on a cell phone (even on a hands-free device), eating or drinking while driving, looking at a map, searching for something in the cab, and otherwise doing anything else but focusing completely on the road.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to legislate the long list of possible distractions available for truck drivers on the road. It is also impossible to enforce rules requiring truck drivers to remain focused on the road at all times. In fact, the very nature of the job makes long-term concentration difficult. Drivers spend all day, day after day, on the road, driving. Mainlining 100% concentration on the road during long stretches of time is very difficult.

Some industry experts have recommended that stricter rules be put in place against truck drivers who have accidents or "near misses" while distracted. They argue that once a truck driver has shown that he or she is prone to distracted driving, he or she should be taken off the road. Others argue for better education campaigns to teach all drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. Some industry experts also recommend adding devices into the cab of trucks – devices such as cameras – which would help investigators and carriers evaluate truck drivers' levels of performance and distraction.

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May 23, 2011

Renting a Moving Truck? Here's What You Need to Know About Florida Truck Accidents

Many rental agencies rent out large trucks for do-it-yourself moves. If you are trying to save money, this can seem like a great alternative to the costs of hiring professional movers. However, this sort of move can also lead to a Florida truck accident. To stay safe, follow these tips:

1) Get the moving van inspected and get some training. Many moving truck rental have poor reputations for failing to maintain their fleets. You can read about company safety records online, but it is a good idea to get the truck inspected before you pack it, just in case. You may also want to get at least an hour or two of training with an instructor to get familiar with the truck. Many driving training schools can offer you two hours of training for less than $50, which will not add to moving costs substantially.

2) Keep a log of your hours on the road and your rests. If you are renting a very large moving truck, you may be required to maintain a log of time traveled, distance traveled, and any rest stops taken. If you are required to keep such records, keep them carefully; you could face serious legal problems if you fail to keep these records.

3) Get the right truck for your weight of cargo – and stop at weight stations as needed. Overloading a truck because you don’t want to go into the next larger truck size can mean that your moving truck is more prone to rollovers, tire blowouts and even brake problems. Most truck rental companies will help you estimate how much truck you need. If you need a very large truck, make sure that you stop at weight stations, as you are required to do by law.

4) Secure your cargo carefully. Pack your belongings carefully any use plenty of tie-downs to keep them secure in the truck. If your cargo moves or shifts as you drive, you will have a harder time controlling the truck and you will increase your chances of being in a Florida car accident.

5) Consider alternatives. If you need to move many items and will require a very large truck, think twice. Very large trucks are hard to maneuver and are not really intended to be driven by passenger car drivers with no truck driving experience. There are many low-cost alternatives. For example, you can rent the low-cost truck yourself and hire a professional driver to drive it for you. You can also combine moving costs with another family headed for the same destination. Another option is to take advantage of one of the DIY packing companies. The company will drop off a large freight container at your home, which you can pack at your leisure. A professional truck driver will then drive the container to your destination.

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May 20, 2011

Driver Fatigue and Florida Truck Accidents

In June 2009, a Miami truck driver who was fatigued caused a severe truck accidents that resulted in a multiple-vehicle pileup, ten deaths, and six injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the accident was caused by fatigued driving, with the driver suffering from mild sleep apnea as well as "circadian disruption" caused by the driver's shift schedule.

Unfortunately, the incident was not isolated. Every year, Florida truck accidents as well as car and truck accidents across the entire country, are caused by fatigued drivers. According to Deborah A.P. Hersman, chairman of the NTSB, the 2009 crash shows that three new federal rules are needed to help prevent these types of truck accidents:

1) A fatigue management system. According to the NTSB, such a system would include set scheduling practices, attendance rules, education of truck drivers and the public about warning signs, medical screening and treatment for sleep apnea and other sleep-related conditions, the creation of rest environments for drivers, and new commuting policies. This comprehensive system would address some of the more common causes for driver fatigue.

2) Event recorders. The NTSB has also recommended recorders such as video cameras in cabs. While these might not help prevent accidents, the NTSB notes that such devices would help investigate accidents. The NTSB also believes that event recorders would help carriers evaluate driver performance and this might ostensibly help prevent Florida trucking accidents as well as accidents across the country.

3) A collision warning system. Airplanes in Florida use Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS) to help prevent Florida aviation accidents and the NTSB believes that similar technology can help prevent truck accidents. The systems work by providing auditory warning signals when other vehicles are close.

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May 18, 2011

Preventing Florida Truck Accidents: What to Do When You See an Unsafe Florida Truck Driver

If you are sharing the road with trucks as a motorist, there are times when you may see unsafe drivers on the road operating large commercial trucks. Unsafe drivers can cause serious Florida truck accidents, but if you notice a driver who does not appear to be safe, there are several things you can do:

1) Learn to recognize the signs of an unsafe driver. Unsafe truck drivers speed, drive erratically, weave, or gesture and yell aggressively. They may drive past red lights or otherwise ignore traffic signals and signs or may make obvious mistakes on the road.

2) Get out of the way. Your first priority is to stay safe. That means remaining calm and getting plenty of distance from the truck. Avoid engaging the driver in any yelling or shouting or exchange of gestures; that can make an aggressive driver even more aggressive.

3) Get the details. If you have a passenger in the car with you, ask them to take down the details of the truck, such as the license plate number, any identifying details, the time and location, and a description of the truck driver. Do not get too close to the truck to get these details – they are not worth an accident. If there is no one in the car with you, pull over to write down the details.

4) Call police. If the driver is in imminent danger of causing an accident or if you believe that the driver is drunk, call police immediately; you may be helping to stop a Florida drunk driving accident. Reporting a dangerous driver can help ensure that others are not harmed by his or her recklessness.

5) Report the driver to the FMCSA. There are rules in place to keep unsafe drivers off the roads. You can call the Safety Violation Hotline, created by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), to report unsafe bus and truck drivers. The number is 1-888-368-7238. Many trucks also have the phone numbers of their carriers listed right on the truck. You can call the carrier to report an unsafe driver as well.

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May 16, 2011

Load Problems Can Lead to 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents in Florida

In 2009, there were 3,163 people killed in truck accidents across the country. Overwhelmingly, the victims were either pedestrians or other motorists. Passengers of passenger vehicles accounted for 70% of these deaths and bicyclists, motorists, and pedestrians accounted for 14% of these fatalities. Load problems – including loads that shift inside the truck or fall out of the truck – are a leading cause of truck accidents in Florida and across the country.

When loads are not secured or are too large or heavy for a truck, the truck is at a greater risk of rollovers. Too-large loads also put undue stress on the vehicle's brakes and tires, making tire blowouts and even brake failure more likely. A truck that has a too-heavy load or a load that is not correctly secured is more difficult for the driver to control and is therefore more likely to be in an accident. A regular commercial truck, for example, takes 40% more time to stop than a passenger car. When a truck is overburdened, it can take even longer to stop, making accidents harder to avoid.

There are several laws designed to help prevent Florida truck accidents caused by load issues. In 2002, for example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created new rules about securing loads. New rules require trucks to secure cargo in such a way that it does not shift so that it impedes the normal operation of the vehicle. When traveling on public roads, commercial trucks are also required to secure their cargo and loads so that the cargo does not fall, spill, or blow from the truck.

In addition, there are rules in place about the minimum number of tie-downs required to secure a cargo. These rules require that cargos which are no more than 1100 lb and 5 feet or less in length have at least one tie-down. Items up to ten feet require a minimum of two.

Commercial trucks are subject to strict weight limits and weigh stations across the US and Canada require all large trucks to stop and get weighed. Trucks above safe weight limits are subject to fines. As well, trucks carrying unsafe or dangerous cargo are subject to special requirements and limitations. In addition, in cases where a truck carrying a load or cargo that has been unsafely secured causes an accident, victims have the right to pursue legal action against the carrier, and even the driver of the vehicle.

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May 14, 2011

How Rudeness Can Lead to Florida Trucking Accidents

Rudeness is usually seen as a social fault, and certainly not as something potentially fatal. However, on the road, rudeness can actually cause dangerous situations which lead to Florida car accidents and truck accidents. Rude behavior that can be downright dangerous includes:

1) Cutting trucks off. Cutting off a commercial truck is rude to the truck driver – but it can also be deadly for the passenger car driver. Trucks take a longer time to stop than smaller vehicles, so a truck that is cut off may not have enough time to stop. When passing a truck, give yourself plenty of room before you cut back in. This is especially true if you are on an incline, where a larger and heavier truck will be picking up speed.

2) Road rage. Road rage is never polite – the screaming, swearing, and rude gestures are never appropriate. However, in a confrontation with a truck driver, such behavior can be downright deadly. Road rage can distract a truck driver, causing an accident. It can also distract you, causing you to make a deadly mistake.

3) Aggressive driving. Speeding, swerving, cutting other drivers off, and otherwise driving aggressively makes other drivers angry because it is rude. Driving aggressively around trucks, however, is dangerous because aggressive driving often involves erratic and impulsive maneuvers – maneuvers that truck drivers cannot anticipate in time.

4) Tailgating. Tailgating is always considered aggressive and rude. With a truck, it can lead to a car accident, since truck drivers cannot see directly behind them due to blind spots. If you are following too close to a truck, you likely cannot see the truck driver in the truck's mirrors, and that means that the truck driver cannot see you.

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May 11, 2011

Hazards that Lead to Florida Truck Accidents

Many Florida truck accidents are caused by hazards on the road that are not recognized in time. In the trucking industry, hazards are defined as any situations or obstacles which could impede safe driving. When those hazards create the need for sudden action, they are defined as emergencies. Therefore, a car weaving up ahead may be a hazard for a truck driver, while a car cutting off a truck is generally an emergency as the truck driver may need to brake or swerve out of the way to avoid an accident.

Hazards are important in preventing truck accidents. Since trucks are larger and have slower response times than passenger cars, it is vital for truck drivers to anticipate hazards well in advance and respond accordingly. When truck drivers wait for hazards to become emergencies, they may simply not be able to respond in time to avoid a collision. Common hazards which truck drivers need to be aware of include:

1) Dangerous weather conditions. Conditions such as fog, strong winds, rain, and nighttime can affect visibility and can make road surfaces slippery. Strong winds can easily cause an emergency by blowing objects onto the road surface.

2) Dangerous road conditions. Obstacles on the road, poor paving, road work, and other hazards often pose a greater danger for passenger vehicles, as they often feel bumps and poor road surfaces more than larger trucks. Nevertheless, road conditions can cause trucks to lose control or rollover.

3) Other drivers. Aggressive or dangerous driving, speeding, fatigued drivers, and drunk drivers share the road with trucks each day. Truck drivers need to be aware of the red flag signs of dangerous drivers and need to be able to get out of the way in time.

4) Disabled cars, stopped buses, and stopped trucks. Cars left on the road – especially without emergency flashers – can be a severe hazard for truck drivers, who may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision unless they anticipate the hazard well in advance. A similar hazard are trucks and buses, which make frequent stops and may take up much of lane of traffic.

5) Pedestrians, workers, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Anyone on the road who is walking or riding a bike is harder to spot for a truck driver, especially at night. As well, pedestrians and bikers may be in spots where truck drivers do not expect them – such as weaving around traffic.

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May 9, 2011

Florida Truck Accidents and Mexico

Over the past few years, there have been concerns and debates about the possibility of allowing Mexican commercial five axle tractor-trailer trucks on US roads. Some people have claimed that allowing these trucks on the roads of the US will result in more truck accidents and car accidents in Florida and in every other state. Among the concerns raised are:

1) Differing regulations. There are federal rules which place severe restrictions on US truck carriers and truck drivers. Load limits, safety inspections, hours of service regulations, licensing and training standards, and other rules have been developed over time to ensure that the roads are as safe as possible. Mexico is a different country with different laws and therefore there is a concern that the laws which keep US trucks safer will simply not be in place in trucks from a different country.

2) Safety issues. There are concerns about whether trucks from another country will meet the same safety standards as domestic trucks.

3) Legal issues. Currently, any truck accident involving a commercial truck is tricky to litigate. Insurance carriers, truck companies, driver unions and other stakeholders get involved and there are many legal issues at play. Some Florida truck accident victims wait months or even years for their cases to work their way through the courts. There is a concern that cases involving Mexican trucks and truck drivers would be even harder to litigate, due to extradition problems, different laws, and the high risk of flight for suspected non-domestic drivers.

4) Regulatory problems. When a truck is deemed not fit for the road in the US, there are a number of authorities who can step in to take the truck off the road. However, there are concerns that trucks from Mexico driving on US roads would be harder to regulate. Would carriers from another country obey US standards and regulations different than their own? Would local authorities be able to exert authority over driver and truck companies from a different country?

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May 6, 2011

Insurance Companies Hire Private Investigators After Florida Truck Accidents

After a Florida car accident or truck accident, many drivers assume that they are covered by insurance and that the insurance carrier they have been paying premiums to all along will help them. Many Florida truck accident victims are surprised to find, however, that insurance companies actually often launch private investigations on the victims in traffic accidents. These insurance companies are looking for several things:

1) Mitigating factors and other liable parties. Insurance companies would not make money if they paid out the full possible claim amount to every claimant. Therefore, many companies look for other possible liable parties – such as road conditions or even the victim.

2) Evidence of insurance fraud. Insurance fraud is a serious problem and unfortunately, it can mean that the industry sometimes suspects legitimate claimants. Some injury victims find themselves under surveillance by private investigators as insurance companies try to determine whether a claimant is faking or exaggerating an injury.

3) More information about the accident. Insurance companies, like police and other investigators, work hard to determine the cause of an accident. Unlike other investigators, however, private investigators hired by insurance companies are paid to find information which is advantageous to the insurer.

4) The cost of damages. One of the tasks of the insurance company is to determine the value of a claim – the amount that will be paid out to the victims in an accident. In many cases, however, these initial amounts cover only the bare necessities of care. Most of the time, Florida personal injury attorneys need to work hard to ensure that a victim has all medical costs and related accident expenses covered.

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May 4, 2011

Florida Truck Accident Investigations

After a Florida truck accident or car accident causing an injury or fatality, investigations are usually launched to find out what happened to cause the collision. Florida car accidents involving trucks may in fact be subject to several types of accidents:

1) A police investigation. An official investigation by police will usually be launched in any case where it appears that a law was broken. Suspected cases of Florida drunk driving, suspected cases of insurance fraud, suspected cases of vehicular manslaughter, and other suspected crimes will be carefully investigated by detectives. In many cases, if you are in an accident and decide to pursue legal action you can get a copy of this police investigation or report.

2) A private investigation. If you decide to hire a personal injury attorney after your Florida truck accident, your attorney may decide to launch a private investigation. The attorney will typically work with private investigators or accident reconstruction professionals to find evidence to support your legal action and to find any liable parties in the case.

3) An insurance investigation. In many cases, insurance carriers launch their own investigations, also using private investigators. The aim of insurance companies is to find out whether anyone other than their client was liable. Therefore, if you are in a car accident with a truck, the truck's insurance carrier will typically try to find evidence to protect the truck carrier and truck driver. This is one reason why it is important to hire a Florida personal injury attorney to protect your interests.

4) An industry investigation. In cases where a truck driver may have committed a crime and may be subject to disciplinary action, the truck carrier or truck driver union may launch their own investigation. This sort of investigation may also be initiated in any serious accident which may result in serious legal action for the truck driver or carrier. Again, these investigations are not deigned to protect you or your rights, which is why it is important to have your own Florida attorney conducting a separate investigation.

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May 2, 2011

What Can Cause Florida Truck Accidents Involving Tractor Trailers?

Florida truck accidents often involve larger, commercial trucks. According to a 2007 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report, tractor trailers and other large trucks cause accidents because of a number of common reasons:

1) Drug use. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report, more than a quarter of crashes involving commercial trucks involved a banned substance or prescription drugs, which affect driver response times. About 18 percent of accidents were caused by prescription drugs specifically. According to the report, drug use was the most common cause of tractor trailer accidents.

2) Excessive speed. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report found that speed was a factor in 26 percent of the crashes studied. When truck drivers travel at high speeds, there is virtually no way for them to stop in time to prevent an accident.

3) Lack of familiarity with route. Truck drivers who drive along familiar travel routes are less likely to be in a collision than drivers in an unfamiliar area. Unfortunately, commercial truck drivers are routinely asked to make deliveries to new areas. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report, this factor contributed to 22 percent of accidents.

4) Blind spots. Truck drivers have many more blind spots than the drivers of passenger vehicles. In training, truck drivers are carefully instructed to check blind spots before making any maneuvers. Despite this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that 14 percent of collisions were caused by a truck driver's failure to check blind spots.

5) Driver fatigue. There are hours of service regulations to ensure that truck drivers get adequate sleep. As well, truck drivers are supposed to be screened carefully for any illnesses – such as sleep apnea – that can lead to car accidents. Despite this, 13 percent of truck accidents studied in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report were caused by driver fatigue.

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April 29, 2011

Truck Weight Regulations and Florida Truck Accidents

One of the reasons why trucks are so dangerous and contribute to so many Florida car accidents each year is the sheer weight of the vehicles. The large size and weight of commercial trucks such as tractor trailers or semi trucks makes these vehicles unwieldy and slow to respond on the road. In the case of an accident, even small mistakes can lead to serious injuries. As well, drivers of these vehicles are often limited in their ability to drive defensively; since commercial trucks respond far more slowly than passenger vehicles, it is harder to avoid an accident.

Congress passed laws in 1973 to make trucks safer and to reduce the risks of truck accidents. One of the laws restricted the size and weight of loads. For travel in between states, load weights were limited to 40 tons (80 000 pounds). However, overweight permits and oversize permits are available to permit larger trucks on the road in certain circumstances. As well, the weight limits for steer axles are 12 000 pounds while the limits of dual axles are 34 000 pounds and the limit on single axles is 20 000 pounds.

There are federal limits which limit the size as well as the weight of trucks. On all federal highways, trucks can tow 2 trailers of 28 feet or one trailer of 48-feet. Trucks must be no wider than 102 inches on these roads.

States have their own rules and limits on truck weights, as well. Some states, for example, impose seasonal weight limits. Michigan is one such state. Other states allow some oversize trucks or overweight loads, as long as truck carriers meet specific safety requirements.

The reason for these federal and state weight limits is simple. The heavier a truck is, the greater a danger it is on the road. This is because in a truck accident a heavier truck creates a greater impact upon collision and is therefore more likely to cause serious damage and possible fatalities. As well, heavier trucks are more likely to rollover and are more difficult to manage, making it more likely that even an experienced truck driver will be in an accident. Finally, heavier trucks cause more wear on tires and brakes, making it more likely that these systems will fail prematurely.

To enforce federal and state weight limits, there are weight stations in every state. Trucks are supposed to automatically stop at these stations when the stations are open to allow authorities to check for weight violations. Unfortunately, some trucks continue to flout the rules and avoid the weight stations, creating unnecessary danger on the roads.

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April 27, 2011

Why Are Trucks So Dangerous?

Many experts agree that large commercial trucks are the most dangerous vehicles on the road. These vehicles cause many Florida truck accidents every year. There are many things that make them so dangerous:

1) Their size. Trucks are very large and this means that they can block visibility on the road. Driving behind a truck in a passenger vehicle means that you cannot see well ahead of you or anticipate dangers on the road. The size of trucks also makes them deadly in an accident, as they can easily crush smaller vehicles – and the passengers inside them.

2) Their weight. Fully loaded commercial trucks can weigh tens of thousands of pounds. This makes them dangerous as it causes them to accelerate down hills and increases the risk of Florida rollover accidents. The heavy weight of trucks also means that in an accident they can easily crush smaller cars.

3) The limited visibility. Trucks have multiple blind spots. This means that drivers are not able to see and anticipate cars around them. The multiple blind spots on trucks makes it especially important that other drivers maintain a safe distance from these large vehicles.

4) Their slow response times. Due to their size and weight, trucks take longer to get up speed and take much longer than passenger vehicles to slow down and brake. This means that they often cannot act quickly enough in time to prevent a Florida car accident, making it crucial that other drivers leave adequate distance in front of trucks.

5) Their loads. Many trucks carry dangerous loads, including hazardous materials, flammable substances, and toxic products. In cases where these loads spill, it can cause severe health and environmental hazards. As well, if loads are not correctly secured, shifting loads can cause rollovers and accidents.

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April 25, 2011

Florida Truck Accidents Involving Multiple Trucks

Along highways, especially, Florida car accidents and truck accidents often are caused by multiple vehicles. Multiple truck accidents are very complex cases because:

1) In these cases, there is usually a few mitigating factors involved. Multi-vehicle crashes usually occur due to complex reasons, such as a combination of weather and speed. After the fact, it can be complex to isolate all the specific factors without accurate accident reconstruction and analysis by investigative professionals.

2) Different passengers may have different ideas of how the accident happened. The police reports of Florida truck accidents involving multiple vehicles are often confused, because drivers near the rear of the crash may not have seen the initial impact and may have a very different view of events than the drivers in the first cars to collide.

3) There may be many liable parties. Every driver in such a crash may be held partly liable for the accident and car manufacturers, truck carriers, and others may also be held partly liable. It can take a skilled Florida attorney to determine and sort out all this information.

4) There are multiple sources of information. Conflicting reports are taken from different drivers and every car must be examined, as well as every truck in the crash. Such a crash usually involves multiple insurance companies and even multiple investigations by different attorneys and insurance carriers.

5) Evidence can easily get misplaced or damaged. Because there are so many people involved in this type of crash and because there are so many sources of information, early evidence recovery and investigation is important. In many cases, insurance companies arrive early at such accident scenes, knowing that the risk of evidence contamination exists. In some cases, insurance companies arrive before the police.

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April 22, 2011

Truck Accidents Cause Florida Brain Injuries

Florida truck accidents can cause many types of injuries, including brain injuries. Florida brain injuries caused by traffic accidents are especially tragic because they can literally change an entire life in just an instant. A serious brain injury can leave a patient with difficulty remembering, speaking, moving, and performing everyday tasks. Florida brain injuries are also a leading cause of death in traffic accidents.

Brain injuries in traffic accidents can be caused by a number of situations. When a car impacts with a truck, the passengers in the passenger car are generally thrown about. If the head comes into contact with any hard surface, the soft mass of the brain is thrown against the inside of the skull, causing damage as well as bruising. In some cases, the impact of the head is so hard that the surface of the skull actually cracks, causing injury to the brain. In other accidents, the skull is punctured by a sharp object during the accident, causing immense trauma to the brain inside.

Injuries to the brain can cause the brain to bleed, bruise, or swell, all of which can be life-threatening. When a Florida brain injury patient is rushed to the hospital after a truck accident, the first aim of emergency personnel is often to stabilize the patient as much as possible and to find out the extent of the brain injury. Scans are often used to determine where and how the brain has been injured. In cases where swelling is occurring, steps need to be taken to bring down the swelling in order to relieve pressure on the brain.

Long-term, a Florida brain injury patient may need rehabilitation in order to regain use of mobility, speech, and other necessary functions. In many cases, patients with severe brain injuries have suffered permanent injuries and may not return to work. They may always need help for everyday tasks such as getting dressed or getting prepared for their day. In such cases, counseling or some form of therapy is often required in order to help patients deal with the frustration of their new level of ability. In such cases, recovering from a brain injury is a lifelong process.

In less severe cases, Florida brain injury patients may eventually return to their everyday lives. They may, however, still need therapy and long-term care in order to deal with any aftereffects of their injury. In all cases, once a Florida brain injury patient has sustained an injury, any further concussions or injuries to the brain area may be more severe. Therefore, careful monitoring of any other head injury becomes very important.

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April 20, 2011

Florida Truck Accidents are not the Only Problem – Trucks Can Cause Dangerous Road Conditions

There is no doubt that Florida truck accidents cause serious injuries. However, trucks can also cause other problems which can lead to Florida car accidents, fatalities, and serious injuries:

1) Trucks produce debris on the road. Trucks carry cargo, and sometimes that cargo simply isn't secured enough and comes loose. This can cause debris to spill all over the road, which can be dangerous for other drivers. Truck accidents can also produced debris which can cause tire damage as well as secondary accidents.

2) Trucks can cause visibility problems. If you've ever been trapped behind a truck in a traffic jam, you know how difficult it is to see around these large vehicles on the road. Groups of trucks can block your visibility and can make it harder for you to anticipate potential hazards and problems ahead, which can make it more difficult to drive defensively.

3) Trucks can cause road damage. A fully loaded commercial truck weighs tens of thousands of pounds. The heaviness on the roads is known to cause damage to the asphalt surface, causing potholes, cracks, and other problems which can affect your ability to drive smoothly and safely.

Trucks are an important part of the economy, allowing us to enjoy products from all over the world and allowing us to ship Florida-made goods all across the continent. However, allowing trucks on the roads does come with certain drawbacks. The number of Florida car accidents involving trucks shows this. While we need to share the road with trucks, however, we can do our best to ensure that as few accidents occur as possible.

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April 20, 2011

Florida Truck Accidents are not the Only Problem – Trucks Can Cause Dangerous Road Conditions

There is no doubt that Florida truck accidents cause serious injuries. However, trucks can also cause other problems which can lead to Florida car accidents, fatalities, and serious injuries:

1) Trucks produce debris on the road. Trucks carry cargo, and sometimes that cargo simply isn't secured enough and comes loose. This can cause debris to spill all over the road, which can be dangerous for other drivers. Truck accidents can also produced debris which can cause tire damage as well as secondary accidents.

2) Trucks can cause visibility problems. If you've ever been trapped behind a truck in a traffic jam, you know how difficult it is to see around these large vehicles on the road. Groups of trucks can block your visibility and can make it harder for you to anticipate potential hazards and problems ahead, which can make it more difficult to drive defensively.

3) Trucks can cause road damage. A fully loaded commercial truck weighs tens of thousands of pounds. The heaviness on the roads is known to cause damage to the asphalt surface, causing potholes, cracks, and other problems which can affect your ability to drive smoothly and safely.

Trucks are an important part of the economy, allowing us to enjoy products from all over the world and allowing us to ship Florida-made goods all across the continent. However, allowing trucks on the roads does come with certain drawbacks. The number of Florida car accidents involving trucks shows this. While we need to share the road with trucks, however, we can do our best to ensure that as few accidents occur as possible.

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April 18, 2011

Tire Problems and Florida Truck Accidents

Many Florida car accidents involve not only trucks, but problems caused by truck tires. There are many issues which can cause accidents:

1) Tires exploding. If you've ever driven behind a big wheel truck and have seen one of its tires fall apart, you know how frightening it can be. Rolls of rubber come flying at your passenger vehicle, and there's often no room to react, especially on the highway. You may simply drive over the pieces of shredded tire. If you are unfortunate, the shredded tire may hit your windshield, obscuring your view. It's easy to see how this can cause an accident. A tire coming off a truck can also cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle.

2) Tire defects. Tire manufacturers do a great deal to prevent defects from getting into their products. However, defects do occur. Tiny, invisible defects can cause a tire to come apart on the road, explode, or otherwise function incorrectly. When this happens, drivers can lose control of the truck, the truck may roll over, and many other types of accidents can occur. Even if that tire is without defects, it can become defective if it is stored incorrectly or stored for an extended period of time, allowing the rubber to disintegrate.

3) Tire problems caused by truck accidents and truck debris. Sometimes, the problem is not truck tires themselves, but rather the damage that trucks can do to passenger vehicle tires. Truck accidents, for example, can rip out the surface of a road, affecting passenger vehicle tires and even causing accidents. If a truck is carrying sharp objects and these fall off onto the road, it can cause the tires of passenger vehicles to become damaged, potentially causing accidents.

4) Tires coming off trucks. If truck tires are not correctly secured, they may literally fly off the truck, hitting oncoming cars and causing chaos on the road. While fortunately such accidents are rare, when they do occur there is a high probability of fatalities and serious injuries.

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April 15, 2011

Florida Pedestrian Accidents Involving Trucks Are Tragic

Every type of traffic accident is tragic, but perhaps few are as mismatched and as tragic as Florida pedestrian accidents involving trucks. When a truck hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian literally has no defenses available. There is often nothing between the truck and the pedestrian, meaning that fatality rates in these types of accidents are extremely high. In a passenger car, at least, the safety systems of the car as well as the metal and glass of the vehicle provide a layer of protection to the occupants inside.

What is even more tragic is that these pedestrian accidents often involve young children who simply cannot be seen by the truck driver. In many cases, young children are drawn to trucks and may play behind trucks or around trucks, where they are not visible. When the truck driver climbs into the cab, he or she may simply not see the child and either backup over them or drive over them. Children often do not notice -- the way an adult would -- the truck is about to move and may simply not be able to get away in time. It is one reason why it is imperative that parents teach their children to never play around trucks -- even trucks that are standing still.

Even for adult pedestrians, however, the outcome for Florida truck accidents is very tragic. Since trucks are on such high wheels, adults who are standing up at the time of impact are often hit along the upper body, where the chest and head can be crushed. Florida head injuries are especially common in this type of accidents, and are often fatal.

One frightening thing about such accidents is that they are hard to stop once they begin. The pedestrian pounding on a truck or yelling cannot be heard by a truck driver. Often, there is no time to simply leap out of the way. It is very difficult for the pedestrian to get the attention of a truck driver to prevent an imminent accident, simply because trucks have so many blind spots.

The good news is that such accidents are in fact preventable. Good warning systems on trucks can let pedestrians nearby know when a truck is backing up. This helps prevent rollovers. Newer truck may make use of computer technology and small cameras which allows them to see what is happening behind the truck. This can also help reduce some of the blind spots in the truck.

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April 13, 2011

Could Rising Fuel Prices Actually Lower Florida Truck Accident Rates?

For most customers, rising fuel and diesel prices are bad news. Not only are the costs of transportation quickly rising with fuel prices, but the costs of consumer products are increasing due to the costs of fuel. Most products sold to consumers need to be transported by truck or by other vehicles which use diesel. As fuel prices increase, companies are increasing fuel surcharges and consumers are facing higher costs at retail centers, too.

According to the trucking industry, diesel prices are close to $4 a gallon, a dollar increase over the same time last year. While no one likes higher prices, could the increase in costs actually have a hidden benefit? Many carriers are looking for ways to reduce fuel use in order to keep prices competitive, and many of the methods used to lower fuel consumption may actually also help prevent Florida truck accidents:

1) Better route planning. Most truck companies are now trying to find the most efficient ways to get from point A to point B, with an eye to fuel efficiency. However, faster routes can also mean less occupied routes, which could mean fewer Florida car accidents involving trucks. If companies avoid busy roads in order to reduce idling and slow speeds, there will be less competition on roads and potentially fewer accidents.

2) Less idling. Idling uses up fuel, so it is expected that carriers will be more strict about idling. However, idling can also help reduce pollution and can help make the streets safer and cleaner.

3) Better truck maintenance. Commercial trucks that need repairs are more likely to be fuel-inefficient. They are also more likely to have flaws – such as brake trouble or undetected tire defects – that can lead to an accident. By improving care of vehicles to save on fuel costs, carriers may also be making their fleets safer.

4) Using specific tires, air foils, mud flaps and other equipment. Using equipment designed to make trucks more fuel-efficient may not automatically make trucks safer. However, more attention to trucks can help carriers notice – and fix – any problems that could lead to an accident.

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April 11, 2011

Defense Attorneys and Florida Truck Accidents

If you've been injured in a Florida truck accident and decide to pursue a claim, you need to be aware that defense attorneys hired by the insurance company or truck company will work to disprove your claim. During the pretrial discovery process, the defense attorneys will be able to access medical records -- not only from the accident but also from far before the accident took place.

It is important to be aware of this because it means that defense attorneys will have access to very personal information about you and will be able to use this information in court. As well, it is important to be aware of this in order to discuss your pre- accident medical records with your own Florida personal injury attorney. This way, your attorney is prepared to represent you.

If you have sustained a brain injury, for example, but you have sustained other concussions before due to sports -- even if those concussions occurred decades ago -- defense attorneys may try to claim that your current injuries are caused in part by those previous injuries and therefore their clients should not be held completely liable. It's very natural for plaintiffs to get very upset by this type of argument, but it is part of the legal process. Knowing about it ahead of time can help make you feel more comfortable with the court process.

If you have been injured in a Florida truck accident, it is important to find a good personal injury attorney you can trust. A good attorney can help prepare you for the court case, the defense attorneys' tactics, and the process itself so that you are more comfortable. However, before you start a claim you also want to be aware that any personal information that is available in any of your records will be made available. If you have previous reckless driving or drunk driving convictions, for example, you can be certain that the defense will try to use this to argue that you may be partly liable for the accident. Being prepared for such comments can help make them less upsetting.

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April 8, 2011

Proposed Recorders to Reduce Florida Truck Accidents Caused by Fatigued Driving?

US Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) and Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas) are supporting proposed federal laws which would make it mandatory for most commercial tractor trailers to have electronic on-board data recorders installed on board. According to industry experts, this law, if passed, might help prevent truck accidents caused by fatigued drivers. The bill, known as the Commercial Driver Compliance Improvement Act, might go into effect in 36 months if passed.

Experts say that electronic data recorders might help prevent fatigued driving and the accidents caused by sleepy drivers because the devices would identify the driver, record the location of the truck in real time, and keep track of driving time as well as stop times. If a truck were pulled over, the devices would allow police to access the information.

Experts note that these features would help prevent accidents in a number of ways. The tamper-proof recorders could keep note of how long drivers were driving and would allow drivers to keep tabs on compliance with hours of service laws. By allowing police to access the data, recorders would also make enforcement of such laws simpler. Plus, in the event of a Florida truck accident or an accident anywhere, the information recorded would help establish liability, potentially.

According to at least one study, fatigued drivers may contribute to as many as one out of every seven fatal trucking accidents. There are currently about 500 000 trucking companies in the industry, and while implementing the recorders would be expensive for the industry, experts note that such recorders are the only reliable way to ensure that hours of service rules are being followed.

Currently, drivers are required to keep a log book of hours driven and hours rested, but these books rely on self-reporting, which has been proven to be fallible and easy to falsify. The recorders can also be useful in identifying which driver was in which truck at which time, something which can be useful for law enforcement and investigators after any Florida car accident involving a truck.

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April 6, 2011

If You Have Been in a Florida Truck Accident, You Need to Get Medical Help At Once – Here's Why

If you have been in a Florida truck accident and do not appear to be seriously injured, you may think yourself lucky to walk away from an accident. It's true -- given the size difference between passenger vehicles and trucks, surviving any Florida car accident involving a truck is often a cause for celebration. However, many people who are fortunate enough to walk way from Florida truck accidents do not bother getting medical help. This can be an expensive and dangerous mistake.

The truth is, if you have been in a Florida truck accident you need to seek emergency medical help immediately. Even if you think that you are not injured, you may have sustained in internal injuries and other injuries which may not show up immediately. For example, injuries such as whiplash and some brain injuries may not present immediate symptoms. Nevertheless, brain injuries can the fatal if not treated, even if you seem fine at first. Seeking immediate medical help ensures that there is no problem that can endanger your life and your health.

Another excellent reason to visit a medical professional or emergency room after a Florida truck accident is to start the documentation process. If you do need to file a claim with your insurer or if you do find that you have been injured and didn't realize it, getting immediate help ensures that there is an emergency room file about your condition. This can help you file a claim later on if you decide to do so.

Unfortunately, many Florida truck accident victims find that they are left with the entire bill or much of the bill of their medical costs after an accident. Insurance companies do not usually rush to pay out the full claim in any accident. If they did so, they would lose money. As well, it can be difficult to prove an injury has occurred from a specific accident. Getting help immediately can save your life, and it can also help prove that any injure you have sustained was in fact caused by the accident.

Going to the emergency room may be frightening, it may cost money, and it could take some time. However, it can also help save your life and could help provide you with the documentation you need to pursue any claim. It is always better to be safe than sorry. When visiting the emergency room, it is also a good idea to get a copy of your medical file before you leave. Again, if you need this information to prove a claim, it will be handy to have this information at your fingertips.

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April 1, 2011

Hours of Service Rules and Florida Truck Accidents

Hours of Service rules (49 CFR Part 395) apply to all commercial truck drivers and are designed to help prevent Florida truck accidents as well as truck accidents across the country. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that these rules are intended to lower the rate truck accidents, and it seems to be working – fatal truck accidents have been decreasing in number every year. Nevertheless, many thousands of people continue to die and many more thousands continue to suffer from serious injuries as a result of these accidents -- many of which are preventable.

This year, Hours of Service rules were changed, but experts still say that much can be done to help improve these rules to ensure that truck accidents caused by fatigued drivers are simply less of a risk on our roads. For example, under current regulations, employers can still push truck drivers to drive a tractor trailer 18 wheeler for 14 consecutive hours -- legally. Studies also show that truck drivers, on average, get less sleep than many other types of workers. Legislators and experts have both stated that more can be done to make such situations less common.

Hours of Service rules exist to ensure that drivers do not drive when unsafely tired. These rules require commercial truck drivers to log the number of hours that they drive, to take frequent rests -- which must be documented -- and to drive no more than a certain set number of hours within any 24-hour period before taking a rest.

Experts say that while these rules are a good start, part of the problem is that current rules shift most of the liability on to the driver. If drivers are pushed to break hours of service rules by unreasonable deadlines, for example, it is often drivers who are blamed if driver fatigue causes a Florida car accident or truck accident.

Companies often pay drivers by the mile. This means that drivers are pressured to drive longer in a smaller period of time in order to make better money. As well, it also means that drivers are not necessarily compensated for work-related tasks, such as waiting for trucks to be loaded, or sitting in traffic. Any delays a driver encounters mean a loss of revenue and drivers may be tempted to drive faster or to drive longer in order to make up the difference. It is for this reason that many experts believe that Hours of Service rules are not enough and that rules should be in place to protect drivers from such pressures.

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March 28, 2011

Avoid Being in a Florida Truck Accident

More than 500 000 truck accidents occur on US roads and highways annually. Like all states, Florida sees its fair share of car accidents caused by trucks. To avoid becoming a statistic, make sure that you follow these best practices for road safety when sharing the road with trucks:

1) Avoid trucks' blind spots. All trucks have significant blind spots, but this is especially true for big rigs and tractor trailers. A good rule of thumb is that the truck driver cannot see you unless you can see the driver in their side view mirror. If you can't see the driver, speed up or slow down until you have a safe distance from the truck.

2) Give trucks plenty of extra room. Many Florida car accidents involving trucks are caused by passenger vehicles following trucks too closely. Trucks take much longer to stop than passenger vehicles, so most experts recommend that passenger vehicles stay a minimum of 20 car lengths behind large tractor-trailer trucks. Giving yourself extra room allows you to see around the truck, allows the truck driver to see you, and gives you both plenty of room and time to react in case of an emergency.

3) Pass trucks carefully. Once you have passed a truck, don't move back into the lane until you can see the truck's headlights in your rearview mirror. If you cut in too quickly, you may not be giving the driver enough time to stop in an emergency.

4) Be aware of trucks around you. Obviously, Florida drunk driving accidents are a major cause of fatalities and serious injuries. However, anything that distracts you can be a potential hazard on the road, all the more so when there are large trucks around you. When you see a truck, be extra vigilant. If the truck is weaving or at an unusually, get out of the way. Being aware of trucks around you also ensures that you don't brake suddenly or otherwise act in a manner that is dangerous.

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March 25, 2011

Truck Accidents Cause Florida Spinal Cord Injuries

Florida truck accidents can cause spinal cord injuries. Often, this is caused when a car collides with a truck and the passengers of the passenger vehicle are thrown violently in the interior of the car. This can cause extreme trauma to the spinal cord. If an injury results, it can lead to paralysis, reduced motor skills, and related problems

Florida spinal cord injury patients who have sustained their injury in a traffic accident face a host of problems:

1) Physical issues. Recovery from a spinal cord injury is physically daunting. This type of injury can mean extreme pain as well as permanent injuries which affect a person's ability to live and work the way they did before their accident.

2) Emotional problems. Serious spinal cord injuries can cause frustration, anger, stress, grief, and a host of other problems. If the injuries are permanent, especially, it can be difficult to avoid depression. Patients with serious spinal cord injuries have higher rates of substance abuse and relationship problems than the general population, according to some studies.

3) Financial challenges. A permanent spinal cord injury can require millions of dollars to treat or manage, since patients often need rehabilitation, an income, renovations to make their homes accessible, and a lifetime of full-time care in many cases. In many cases, however, insurance only covers a small fraction of costs, leaving the patient with no income and high bills.

A good Florida personal injury attorney is often needed to get the best possible recovery for a patient. A good attorney can negotiate for a good settlement from all liable parties. This can help cover the best possible care as well as counseling and therapy, allowing a patient to live the fullest possible life after their accident.

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March 23, 2011

Could Food Trucks Contribute to Florida Truck Accidents?

Now that the weather is getting more pleasant and tourists are trickling into Florida in greater numbers, South Florida has seen a rise in the number of mobile food trucks around the area. According to some reports, there are many as 40 of these trucks in the area, serving food to customers in parking lots. While customers like the cheap food and fun names these trucks offer, others are concerned about safety and noise issues.

Many trucks have been fined for lacking the required licensing, even when they have the permission of parking lot owners to congregate and set up business. Area residents where these trucks set up voice concerns over pollution, noise, litter, and the potential for truck accidents. Local restaurants are not always happy about food trucks, which do not need to pay leases and can therefore charge low prices.

Others worry about the safety of the trucks – many are older vehicles equipped with deep-fryers and large propane trucks. Some area residents worry about the potential for fires and injuries as a result of the trucks. A few people have voiced concerns about food safety in the here-today-gone-tomorrow world of mobile food.

The truck owners note that they run affordable and legitimate businesses. Many of them would want to see more cooperation from communities. Currently, restaurants in Florida need a $550 license as well as $200 food manager's license. Both can be complicated to acquire and mobile food truck owners believe that such licensing does not apply to them since they provide no sit-down areas for patrons and are therefore not "restaurants." Some municipalities require special events permits or peddler's permits – often used by ice cream trucks. These, too, are expensive to secure. South Florida communities are now looking at new legislation which would regulate the food trucks.

So far, no official Florida truck accidents or traffic accidents have been reported to be caused by the food trucks, but some residents are worried that it is only a matter of time. The trucks attract large crowds of pedestrians to parking areas and the truck themselves are large and move often, increasing the risk of accidents. According to food truck owners, however, the vehicles are less likely to be in accidents because they are stationary for such long stretches of time. If there was an truck accident in South Florida caused by one of these vehicles, however, it would likely cause serious liability issues, especially given the concerns over licensing and vendor permits.

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March 21, 2011

Why It's Important to Get Help If You Have Been in a Florida Truck Accident

Each year, almost half a million truck accidents occur across the country each year, resulting in serious burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, and even fatalities. When commercial truck accidents are Florida car accidents involving a passenger car, the injuries to the passengers in the passenger vehicle are often severe. While the truck driver may walk away from such an accident unharmed, in many cases the other passengers in the other vehicle suffer severe injuries. Many Florida spinal cord injury, burn injury, and brain injury patients sustain their injuries in traffic accidents.

Unfortunately, many injury victims assume that their car insurance will cover all costs and do not seek out professional or legal help after an accident. This is unfortunate because in many cases Florida truck accidents involving commercial trucks are quite complex. There may be a few liable parties as well as several contributing factors to the accident and its injuries.

When patients sign any documentation from an insurance company they often sign away at least part of their rights to pursue legal action. All truck carriers have teams of attorneys to help companies avoid expensive litigation. What many patients do not realize is that they may be entitled to more compensation and more coverage of their injuries.

In too many cases, Florida truck accident victims receive less than the full cost of damages from insurance carriers. While immediate hospital care may be covered, for example, long-term care, counseling, and other treatments may need to be paid out of pocket. It is often difficult for injured parties without legal training to truly appreciate the liability of an accident or to calculate the full cost of an injury.

This is why consulting with a Florida personal injury attorney is so crucial. An attorney can investigate the causes of an accident, find all liable parties, and aggressively pursue a fair recovery for the patient. In many cases, this recovery can help the patient pay for lost income, medical treatment, car repairs, and any related costs. As well, an attorney can help the victim understand and take advantage of all their rights.

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March 18, 2011

Why Are Truck Accident Rates Dropping?

According to both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and The American Trucking Association (ATA), fatal truck accidents have declined as much as 14% through 2009. The improved safety of the industry can be attributed to many things, according to the ATA:

1) Better driver training. Truck carriers are improving driver training and driver training courses are improving at schools across the country, stressing things such as driver safety, defensive driving, and other similar topics which help reduce fatal truck accidents. Most industry experts agree that today's drivers receive more training and better-quality safety training than drivers of years past.

2) Lower truck highway speeds, which are mostly self-imposed. Many truck drivers are slowing down. Thanks to government regulations and a greater awareness among carriers that safety is good business, there is less pressure on drivers to deliver by deadline at any cost. Since speeding is considered a major contributor to most Florida car accidents and truck accidents – not to mention traffic accidents nationwide – slower speeds mean safer highways.

3) Improved truck safety systems. Systems such as roll–stability, GPS, lane-departure warning, and collision-avoidance systems are increasingly being installed in new commercial trucks. Manufacturers have been aggressively researching and developing new safety devices over the past five years, which are designed to help prevent serious accidents. These technologies are being implemented more often, helping to avert disaster, although the ATA has argued that better incentives would make implementing newer technologies more universal.

4) Improved regulations. The past five years have seen growing awareness about Florida truck accidents and US truck accidents in general. States and the federal government have passed legislation aimed at making streets safer. For example, last year all commercial truck drivers were banned from texting while driving. Better regulations and enforcement reduce the instances of violations and improve safety in the industry.

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March 14, 2011

Safety Practices and Policies Alone Won't Prevent Florida Trucking Accidents

When Florida trucking accidents happen, legislators often call for new laws and regulations. While policies are useful in preventing Florida drunk driving accidents and other types of accidents and while safety practices instituted by the trucking industry have helped to prevent many accidents, these steps alone are not enough. In order to really help prevent more Florida car accidents involving trucks, it is important to move beyond reactive practices to more proactive practices.

Most safety policies focus on violations and post-violation action rather than focusing on preventing problems in the first place. That is, most policies are created as a response to existing problems and current violations. They are looking back at the mistakes already made. Many safety experts believe that the trucking industry needs to look forward to anticipate problems and create holistic solutions to these problems.

For example, it is expected that Florida will see more and more trucks on the road as industries boom. The state will also see more extra-large trucks as a result of legislation passed last year to allow larger and heavier trucks on the road. While no accidents have yet been reported from this change, now is the time to address the change and to take steps to help prevent any future accidents. For example, investing in new tire technology would help the industry avoid trucking accidents caused by tire defects. This will become especially important as trucks increase in size and weight load.

Another way to become more forward-looking is avoid too much attention on incident rate leads. These tend to look back, just like safety policies, rather than looking forward to future problems. Of course, incident rate leads and safety policies are important. However, to truly create greater safety on the road, we must look beyond these issues and anticipate problems and address them in a forward-thinking way.

Drivers of course play a significant role in preventing Florida truck accidents. Training drivers extensively and well to anticipate problems and to become part of the solution is important. When drivers are given a greater voice to improve safety and their concerns are heard, good things can happen. Truck drivers want to help prevent accidents; giving them more leeway to take action to prevent accidents can help prevent collisions.

Many carriers have incentives based on lack of injury, but this, too can backfire. Drivers may be less likely to report injuries or possible injuries if it means discipline or lack of incentives, and this can mean more drivers driving unwell. Rewarding the right behaviors means rewarding safety and a commitment to safety, not rewarding lack of accidents. Rewarding additional training and any action taken by the drivers to remain safer simply may make more sense.

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March 11, 2011

How the Trucking Industry And Carriers Can Create a Safety Culture

In many industries, the term "safety culture" is a buzzword and a key goal. Broadly, safety culture means creating an environment in which safety is an essential part of all tasks and business matters. Creating a safety culture is important because it can help reduce accidents and injuries. To help prevent Florida truck accidents, the trucking industry and local carriers may wish to work to create the type of safety culture than many other industries are creating.

Most experts agree that in order for safety culture to be effective, industries need to see culture as actionable. That is, it's easy to talk about a safety culture as something abstract, but companies need to create a culture rooted in specific steps so that it is easy to implement. For example, the trucking industry has taken steps to create a safety culture by banning texting and driving all across the country. Safety must be translated into steps of action in order to work.

Most experts also agree that safety policies alone do not mean safety culture. While it is important to have safety rules, in other words, rules alone will not create a culture of safety. A safety culture needs to go well beyond rules and regulations to work. The problem with many safety policies is that they are top-down. That is, authorities in an industry impose rules and everyone else is expected to follow them. This creates directives, not a culture. To create a safety culture that prevents Florida car accidents and truck accidents, industry authorities need to work with truck drivers and even the drivers of passenger cars to create solutions that involve everyone.

In order to work, safety culture must mean integration. That is, a safety culture includes all levels of a company or industry and it involves everyone. In the trucking industry, everyone must be held accountable for safety and safety must become a priority at all levels – from driver training to loading and unloading of trucks to truck maintenance and tire manufacture.

Safety cultures are not created overnight. In many cases, they begin with a goal to improve safety and with a few policies. Many industries dedicated to implementing a culture safety do so over time, working with employees and other stakeholders to gradually make safety a larger and larger focus across the board. As the trucking industry continues to do this, hopefully the number of Florida car accidents involving trucks will decline.

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March 9, 2011

Preventing Driving Error Can Help Prevent Truck Accidents

Many Florida truck accidents – and indeed many Florida car accidents -- are attributed to "driver error." In many cases, this general term simply means that a driver had no intention of harming anyone but has made a mistake which has resulted in an accident. Most experts agree that such accidents are highly preventable.

To prevent traffic accidents caused by driver error, it is important to first eliminate causes of error. Many factors can make a driver more prone to mistakes. For example, a driver who is taking cold or flu medication that results in drowsiness is more likely to make mistakes behind the wheel, even if the medication is not a controlled substance. If a driver is sleepy or ill, he or she is also more likely to cause a Florida car accident due to error. Similarly, a distracted driver can make mistakes simply because he or she is not alert enough to notice possible hazards. Eliminating drowsy driving, distracted driving, and driving while ill means that drivers who are well and alert are behind the wheel – and focused, healthy drivers are less likely to make mistakes.

Another way to eliminate driver mistakes is to improve and increase truck driver training. In many cases, driver error is caused simply by lack of experience on the part of the driver. Experienced drivers make fewer mistakes, typically, simply because they are more familiar with a wide range of driving experiences and know to respond appropriately. Truck driving training can mean that drivers have the skills to avoid potentially tragic mistakes. Truck training also means more truck driving experience. Drivers who take additional training are also enjoying more experience in controlled conditions – which means they are more prepared for the road.

Many driver mistakes can also be prevented by creating an environment of safety for drivers. That is, having reasonable work deadlines and sensible schedules ensures that drivers can care for themselves and can therefore be in better shape to avoid mistakes on the road. Carriers and the trucking industry can help create an environment of safety and prevent truck accidents by continuing to focus on safety and driver comfort.

Another way to prevent driver errors and the accidents they cause is to make it easy to focus and stay error-free. In many cases, drivers make mistakes because their minds and eyes are not 100% on the road. Drivers who are focused on the task at hand are less likely to make mistakes because they are not distracted. Banning texting and driving for drivers is an important first step. Carefully screening drivers to ensure that they can focus on one task for extended periods of time is another potential step to help prevent distracted driving and accidents.

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March 7, 2011

Why It’s Not Enough to Focus on Commercial Trucks When Trying to Prevent Florida Truck Accidents

When most news programs report on truck accidents, they report on commercial trucking accidents. It is true that commercial trucking accidents are often very serious or fatal due to the large size of the vehicles. As well, commercial trucking accidents usually are legally very complex, since there are usually a few liable parties.

However, there are other types of Florida trucking accidents which receive less attention but which can still cause fatalities and serious injuries. For example, much less is written about rental truck accidents, although this is a topic that deserves serious attention. Many companies rent trucks – even large trucks – to customers without truck driving licenses. In many cases, these trucks are rented to individuals who are moving. Lately, even building supply stores have been offering short-term truck rentals to customers who want to get building supplies home.

Unfortunately, truck rentals pose quite a few problems. In most cases, drivers who have driven nothing but passenger vehicles are allowed to drive these trucks – some of which can be quite large and unwieldy – with no training, instruction, or help. While rentals no doubt save customers money, many experts do not think they are safe. Due to the fact that customers renting these large trucks do not have experience with larger vehicles, it can mean that even good drivers with no record of Florida car accidents can easily get into a collision with these trucks.

The safety record and maintenance of these trucks has also been an issue. Several investigative journalists have looked into the safety records of trucks offered for rent in this manner and have found all sorts of troubling problems. Some investigative journalists have discovered aging fleets while others have found that trucks cannot pass a mechanic's inspection. Lawsuits and claims that these companies know about mechanical problems just add to the issue.

Another common problem is the prevalence of light trucks and the role they play in accidents. More drivers and car buyers are selecting light trucks when buying a vehicle. In fact, in some cases, buyers say that the perceived safety advantages of these trucks influence their buying decisions. However, light trucks still can and do mean Florida truck accidents. These trucks can mean more blind spots when compared with passenger vehicles. Some light trucks also have high rollover rates and other known problems, all of which can contribute to Florida truck accidents.

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March 4, 2011

Could Safety Devices Be Causing Florida Truck Accident Fatalities?

Studies conducted by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that a popular truck device used to increase safety may actually be causing hundreds of fatalities each year. According to the study, truck safety guards may actually be causing fatalities through decapitation in car accidents involving trucks.

The unusual thing is that truck safety guards are in fact designed to help prevent the very accident them seem to be making worse. The guards are designed to help prevent underride accidents, or accidents in which a car slips underneath a truck. The guards are supposed to ensure that cars cannot slide under the truck and the guards are approved to help prevent injuries by the US.

Despite this, the IIHS study found that in three of six tests, truck safety guards in fact lead to decapitations and other serious injuries in an underride accident. According to the IIHS, the study shows that the trucking industry needs to make changes to prevent these accidents. In some cases, researchers found that the guards actually made the accidents much worse and effectively ensured that in an underride accident there would be no survivors.

Part of the problem, according to researchers, is that truck safety guards are attached to a truck with hardware. In some tests, this hardware appeared to fail, so that during the force of an impact, the hardware did not hold, rendering the guard ineffective. As well, the study found that the NHTSA mandates no testing of truck safety guards, which means that trucking companies can have faulty guards with no inspections and no consequences.

The IIHS researchers made a few recommendations as a result of the study. For example, they recommended that the NHTSA institute rules ensuring that truck safety guards are strengthened and new hardware or new systems for ensuring that the guards are securely attached to trucks. Some trucking industry experts are supporting the proposed changes. Currently, the NHTSA is reviewing its rules regarding truck safety guards, but the review may not be complete until next year.

Across the country, over 400 people die annually in underride accidents – the very accidents which truck safety guards are designed to prevent. Many Florida truck accident and Florida car accident fatalities are also attributed to underride accidents. Such accidents may be preventable with better truck safety guards, as even high safety-rated cars tested by the IIHS tested poorly with the problematic guards, All cars are currently vulnerable to these types of accidents.

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March 2, 2011

Signs of Possible Driver Problems Which Can Lead to a Florida Truck Accident

According to The Hartford Insurance Company, there are several signs that a driver may no longer be safe for the road. Recognizing and acting on these signs early may help prevent Florida truck accidents and Florida car accidents:

1) Signs of confusion. Stopping in traffic for no clear reason, confusing brake and gas pedals, getting lost in places that were once familiar, delayed response times, moving into the wrong lane and difficulty maintaining a position in a lane can all indicate a problem. According to the Hartford Insurance Company, these may be the signs that an elderly driver, especially, is struggling with the basics of road safety. They may indicate problems caused by dementia, stroke, and other problems that affect neurological function. Other symptoms of these problems include confusion at exits and increased agitation when driving.

2) Traffic accidents and violations. These can be a sign of vision problems, aggressive driving, fatigue, distracted driving, or other problems. However, ticketed moving violations or warnings, multiple Florida car accidents, running red lights or stop signs, and other reckless behavior is a clear sign that a driver should not be on the road. Multiple near-misses or violations, especially, are a sign of a more serious underlying problem. Luckily, this is one sign that is likely to be taken seriously by carriers because it affects truck companies' insurance costs.

3) Not noticing important things. Parking inappropriately can mean not noticing parking signs and cues. Hitting curbs or other objects, failure to notice other cars or activities or failure to notice traffic signs can all indicate a serious problem. A lack of ability to notice important driving cues can mean vision problems. distracted driving, or fatigued driving. In any event, leaving this problem unchecked is very likely to result in a Florida truck accident.

4) Poor judgment. Difficulty in making turns, difficulty anticipating potentially dangerous situations, difficulty estimating distances, and similar signs can mean that a driver's judgment is affected. This could be due to alcohol and drug use, distracted driving, fatigued driving, and a host of other problems. However, it is a serious problem. All drivers, and especially truck drivers, rely on their experience and judgment when operating a vehicle. With this judgment affected, accidents are very likely.

5) Aggressive driving. Speeding, lack of signally, frustration and yelling, honking at other cars, and a failure to follow rules of the road are all signs of aggressive driving. Aggressive driving can be caused by poor anger management, emotional problems, or even frustration at an underlying problem. Aggressive drivers take risks which can lead to serious accidents, however, and need to be taken off the road.

6) Low confidence in driving skills. Relying on a "copilot," driving slowly, riding the brakes, and driver anxiety can all point to a lack of confidence. While not as serious as aggressive driving, excessive cautiousness and lack of confidence can also lead to traffic accidents. In some cases, younger drivers or under-qualified drivers may experience low confidence. Additional training can often help resolve this issue.

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February 23, 2011

How Mobile Devices Lead to Florida Truck Accidents

Much has been written in the past year or two about mobile devices and Florida truck accidents and car accidents. Unlike many states, Florida does not currently have a law banning cell phone use or texting while driving – and experts believe that the omission may contribute to Florida car accidents and truck accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting and driving increases the risk of a collision by 300%. In 2008, more than 515,000 passengers and drivers were injured and another 5870 were killed nationwide in accidents caused by texting and driving. Yet, despite awareness campaigns, according to some experts half of all drivers under the age of 24 text behind the wheel.

Some have argued that any form of distraction can lead to traffic accidents. While this is true, texting and use of mobile devices is especially odious because it is so prevalent and because it provides the three levels of distraction which experts say is the most deadly:

1) Visual distraction. Visual distraction occurs when drivers take their eyes off the road in order to dial a number, find a cell phone, or read a text message. In the case of drivers operating a large commercial truck, even removing eyes from the road for a few seconds allows the truck to travel the length of a few football fields – more than enough space and time to cause a serious Florida pedestrian accident or car accident.

2) Cognitive distraction. Cognitive distraction involves taking one's mind off driving. Cognitive distraction is why many experts say that hands-free devices are simply not safe, either. When drivers become engaged in a phone conversation or in communications, they may not be thinking about driving and this can easily cause a collision.

3) Manual distraction. In order to text or dial a number, drivers must remove their hands from the wheel. For a truck driver, this can cause them to quickly lose control of the truck, which can swerve into traffic. Even hands-free devices can be a distraction in this sense if a driver drops the device and searches for it, taking their hands off the wheel.

Currently, there are laws in place to prevent drivers of commercial trucks from texting and driving. As well, many carriers prohibit their drivers from texting and driving. However, many drivers still continue to adopt this unsafe practice. Unfortunately, enforcing texting and driving bans is difficult. It is difficult for law enforcement to see whether a truck driver is holding a mobile device at the wheel. In many cases, texting and driving is only revealed in the investigation after an accident.

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February 21, 2011

Could Wildfire Season Mean More Florida Truck Accidents?

According to National Weather Service and fire safety professionals, Florida may see an unusually severe wildfire season as lack of rain contributes to very dry conditions. Broward County currently has the driest ground conditions, although Palm Beach County, Martin County and Collier County also have very dry conditions, ripe for fire. According to the National Weather Service, drought in South Florida "severe" and can result in wildfires that pose health hazards and lead to Florida truck accidents and car accidents.

In Florida, wildfire season usually takes place between March and May, when dry and hot conditions make fires likely. Fires can be sparked by virtually any hazard, including cigarettes, bonfires, hot cars or trucks, lightning, and other factors. In parts of Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Palm Beach County, homes are nestled close to natural areas. This can easily cause wildfires to spread from forests and natural areas into residential areas, according to experts.

Wildfires are also a serious hazard for trucks and cars. Wildfires cause ash and other forms of air pollution which reduce road visibility considerably. Every year that wildfires are severe, many Florida truck accidents and car accidents are the result. In 2006, for example, Broward and Palm Beach counties saw five Florida car accidents each day as wildfires raged.

According to the Florida Division of Forestry, smoke and ash can descend on the roads, creating poor visibility, but also slick surfaces (especially when combined with chemicals used to douse the flames). As well, for truck drivers, the smoke can cause health problems. Smoke includes of water vapor, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, fine particles, hydrocarbons, and other substances. It can trigger an allergic reaction, asthma attacks, and other serious problems. When these problems strike a driver on the road, a car accident or truck accident could result.

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that smoke from wildfires can cause burning eyes, runny noses and even bronchitis. It can additional exacerbate respiratory and heart disease. A truck driver driving through an area affected by wildfire may not be able to see the road clearly and may suffer health problems from the smoke which makes it even more difficult to drive safely. While car drivers can choose to remain home, truck drivers may need to drive in these conditions to meet deadlines.

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February 18, 2011

Statistics Suggest That Florida Truck Accident Numbers Will Not Decline

According to new statistics released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2010 saw more than 500 000 commercial trucks and large trucks involved in accidents across the country. More than 100 000 individuals suffered serious injuries as a result of these crashes, which also claimed more than 5000 loves. The statistics represent an increase over 2009, when only 3200 deaths were attributed to collisions involving commercial trucks and large trucks.

Experts predict that the number of Florida truck accidents and national truck accidents will continue to rise, in part due to increased demand for truck transport. Industry experts estimate that 20% more trucks will be on the roads by 2012 when compared with today.

Florida car accidents involving trucks cause devastating injuries to passengers and entire families. Due to the size and force of large trucks and commercial vehicles, collisions between these large vehicles and passenger vehicles usually results in fatalities for the occupants of the smaller car. Survivors of such accidents often face serious injuries. Many Florida spinal cord injury patients and brain injury patients sustain their injuries through traffic accidents.

Unfortunately, although Florida laws and insurance providers are designed to help victims recover, in many cases injury victims involved in a Florida truck accident find that recovering for lost income and medical costs is very challenging. In cases where a commercial truck is involved, especially, there may be multiple liable parties, including the carrier, truck driver, truck manufacturer, the owner of the products transported in the truck, the city where the accident occurred, and other parties. Determining liability often becomes difficult as each party tries to shield itself. A good Florida personal injury attorney is often needed to assist the injury victim navigate the legal aspects of such a case.

Due to the increase in truck accidents, many groups are calling for new laws which would require improved truck safety. Although there already exist many federal laws regarding speed, hours of service, and other issues which affect truck driver safety, more can be done to help enforce these laws and to implement new regulations which would keep unsafe drivers off the roads.

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February 14, 2011

Preventing Florida Truck Accidents in Work Zones

According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the cast majority of Florida truck accidents in work zones are preventable. The agency has launched its Work Zone Safety campaign to raise awareness of the issue and to help prevent truck accidents and workplace accidents. The FDOT's efforts may be paying off, as workplace collisions have been decreasing. In 2008, there were 93 fatalities in Florida construction zones, compared to 137 in 2005. However, there is still room for improvement. According to FDOT, everyone can help by:

1) Walking and driving through work zones more carefully. According to FDOT, most of the fatalities in the state's work zones occur due to Florida pedestrian accidents or car accidents. Try to avoid driving or walking through a work zone. If it cannot be help, stay alert, follow signs, maintain good communication with the workers on the job, and proceed slowly.

2) Use extra caution when driving at night. According to FDOT, more than 50% of the fatal collisions which occur in Florida's work zones take place after dark. Poor visibility can make it easier to collide with work equipment and can make it easier to fall into a hole dug by work crews. If you need to pass by a work zone after dark, don't be casual, even if the work zone is empty. Use your lights and slow down so that you can see the warning signs in place.

3) Don’t mix alcohol with driving. Drunk driving is dangerous any time, but it can be especially risky in a work zone. FDOT reports that Florida drunk driving accidents account for almost one in four fatal work zone crashes.

4) Slow down. Even if you think you can drive at full speed by a work zone, you can't. It pays to be patient; work zones are often highly unpredictable environments.