Train accidents in Miami and Florida involving trucks are a serious cause for concern. Both trains and trucks are larger vehicles. When they collide at train crossings, the results can be devastating. These types of collisions can lead to explosions, fatalities, and environmental disaster.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a new report about an accident that occurred in May in Maryland. In the report, the NTSB notes concerns about Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversight and truck safety. In the May accident, a truck driver using a mobile device did not stop to check train tracks, causing an accident that lead to a derailment and explosion.
The NTSB investigation into the incident resulted in a number of recommendations, including a recommendation to ban the use of hands-free mobile devices by commercial drivers. According to the report, hands-free devices are often used by drivers because they are seen as safer, while the NTSB’s research has found that any type of distraction – including the distraction caused by a hands-free device – can be a hazard.
In addition, the NTSB investigation found that the May accident was caused in part by road design. Investigators concluded that the train accident was caused in part due to the curve of the road and in part due to vegetation that was in the way at the crossing and limited visibility.
Another cause of the accident may have been lack of proper oversight of the trucking company involved in the crash. According to the NTSB, the trucking carrier behind the truck in the crash had a “pattern of noncompliance” over a long period of time. Despite that, the FMCSA did not close down the carrier or ensure that the company complied with federal rules. The NTSB expressed concerns about the truck carriers that are allowed to violate federal laws.
According to the NTSB, steps taken to prevent train accidents have not been enough. While the train company installed traffic control signs and removed some vegetation, the NTSB believes that railroads, property owners, states, truck carriers, and government agencies need to work together to improve oversight and prevent collisions.
While the NTSB report focused on a train accident in Maryland, the findings can be said to apply to many states, including Florida. Miami and other Florida cities have their fair share of trucks and railway tracks. Implementing some of the guidelines for road design, maintenance of railway tracks, and federal agency oversight could help potentially prevent traffic accidents in Florida involving tractor-trailers and trains.
Have you been injured in a truck accident or train accident? You do have legal rights. To find out what those rights are and how they apply them to your specific situation, do not hesitate to contact Flaxman Law Group for a free, no obligation case review. Our law firm offers a range of services and can help you with every detail of your case from initial evaluation to helping you find a car rental to aggressively representing and fighting for justice on your behalf. Your initial consultation with us is free and comes with no obligation, so contact us if you would like to know whether you have a legal claim.