Most truck accident experts agree that inattention and driver fatigue are the leading cause of Florida truck accidents, Florida car accidents, and indeed, motor vehicle accidents across the country in general. In 2005, the U.S. Department of Transportation got tough on distracted and fatigued driving by increasing required hours between shifts and by reducing the total driving time of commercial truck drivers. Overall, truck accident deaths have dropped somewhat since 2005.
However, experts from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance note that yearly truck accident fatalities across the country are the same as if a jetliner crashed once a week. Members of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance note that if a jetliner crashed weekly there would be national attention about the problem and air traffic industries would face loss of business as well as serious investigations.
However, despite the well-established documentation about the dangers of distracted and fatigued driving, distracted Florida drivers and fatigued drivers are still causing many Florida truck accidents and national traffic accidents.
Obviously, current laws are still allowing tired drivers behind the wheel. There are, however, many things that drivers can do to help protect themselves and their loved ones:
1) Report drunk or fatigued Florida truck drivers. If you are driving behind a truck that is weaving, speeding, or otherwise driving dangerously, get back from the car and call police to alert them. Be prepared to inform them of your location and the truck’s license plate.
2) Support advocacy groups such as the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and other local groups. These groups help raise awareness and lobby to change laws. There are many levels at which you can get involved – by donating time, money, or just by encouraging the groups and their mandates. Even learning more and passing along what you learn can make a difference in keeping Florida streets safer.
3) When you read about a Florida drunk driving accident or Florida truck accident involving a fatigued or distracted driver, write to your political representative, stating your views about laws which need to be changed. When enough persons speak up, those in public office need to take note.