Articles Tagged with tractor trailers

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Tire problems and defects can and do cause many truck collisions in Homestead, Miami, and other South Florida communities. You may have seen the strips of tire on the road from a tire blowout when driving in the area. While some of these incidents are caused by debris on the road, many are preventable and may be attributed to poor tire maintenance.

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Truck drivers are expected to check their tires regularly and trucking companies are also expected to properly maintain their fleets. When this does not happen, trucking accidents in Homestead and other communities can occur as tires blow out or fail to function correctly.

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Tractor-trailers, big rigs, tankers, and other commercial trucks all share the road with passenger vehicles. Unfortunately, these larger vehicles can cause chaos on the road when they’re involved in a crash. In fact, it’s not unusual for a tractor-trailer collision in Miami and other cities to become a multiple vehicle accidents.

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Multiple vehicle accidents involving tractor trailers and trucks occur due to a number of reasons. One is the sheer size of the truck. If a truck loses control, the surface of the truck may come into contact with multiple smaller vehicles. Trucks also tend to travel on highways, meaning accidents involving them tend to involve higher speeds and more force, meaning a collision that is likely to involve multiple vehicles that are also on the highway.

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Double trailers, as their name suggests, are two tractor trailers hitched together on the same cab, one after another. These vehicles provoke much debate and controversy, with some claiming they make roads safer and some suggesting double trailer trucks are an added risk on the roads.

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Advocates for double trailers – including those trying to convince Congress to change the rules to get more of these vehicles on the road – say double trailers are a good thing because:

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Over the past few years, there has been much debate about the advantages and dangers of big trucks. Some experts in the trucking industry have sought to increase the maximum size of commercial trucks permitted on the nation’s roads, claiming more trucks is better economically, for the environment, and for safety.

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But can larger trucks really reduce the number of truck accidents in Miami and other cities across the nation? According to The Coalition Against Bigger Trucks (CABT), the answer is “no.” The advocacy group points out there are a number of safety dangers with larger tractor trailers, including:

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Jackknife trucking accidents in Homestead and across South Florida cause devastation each year. These types of truck accidents occur when a truck driver loses control of their vehicle or stops suddenly. When this happens, the trailer behind the cab continues to move, sometimes swinging violently to the side. Cars in the way can be crushed, slammed, or pushed out of the way, causing serious injuries to passengers inside.

Image Courtesy of: M0tty

Image Courtesy of: M0tty

Jackknife accidents get their name from the fact that the cab and trailer in these collisions often come to rest at a 90 degree angle – much like an opened pocketknife. Jackknife trucking accidents can be caused by a number of factors, including:

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Last week, we looked at preventative measures you can take to protect your finances before a truck accident affects your life in Hollywood or South Florida. But what happens if you didn’t have the time to implement that advice and now find yourself injured because of a traffic accident?

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The injuries sustained in an accident involving a big rig, tractor trailer, or other commercial vehicle can be very serious. If your finances aren’t ready for the medical bills, lost wages, property damages, car repair costs, and other expenses, you will need to be proactive. Here are a few things you can do:

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Is $500 a lot of money? That’s about the cost of an anti-collision system for big rigs, tractor trailers, and commercial trucks. These devices work simply: they gather and interpret data from around the truck and engage the brakes if the truck driver can’t or doesn’t brake in time to avoid a crash. According to manufacturers and some safety experts, anti-collision system can stop accidents or can reduce the speed and therefore the severity of a crash.

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Anti-collision systems are sometimes called mitigation braking or forward collision avoidance or F-CAM systems. They make use of cameras and sensors to gather information about traffic and speed around a truck. If a collision is imminent, the system warns a truck driver with a sound. If the driver does not respond, the system engages the brakes. Currently, about 3% of commercial tractor-trailers on American roads have the devices installed.

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Big rigs, tractor trailers, and other commercial trucks require a lot more space to make wide turns when compared with passenger cars. When making a right turn, these trucks must swing left before completing a right turn. This sometimes awkward-looking maneuver gives enough space for the trailer and the cabin to turn.

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The problem is that when the truck swings a wide left, some motorists take the opportunity to try to pass the truck along the right. This places the smaller vehicle directly in the driver’s blind spot and traps the car between the curb and the truck. When the truck completes its turn, the smaller vehicle can be crushed in what is known as a squeeze play truck collision.

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Big rigs and tractor trailers have trailers attached to the cabs where drivers sit. The trailers can be removed or attached as needed. Jackknife accidents happen when the trailers swing outwards during a crash, causing the trailers to be at a 90-angle from the rest of the vehicle.

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The danger with jackknife accidents in Hollywood and the rest of Florida is that the trailer can hit other vehicles or objects before it stops moving, potentially causing a lot of damage. It is not uncommon for considerable property damage or crushing injuries to happen because of jackknife collisions. If a truck is speeding when it jackknifes, a rollover accident is very likely. Jackknifing exerts a lot of force, which can lead to serious injuries and even multiple-vehicle accidents.

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Many trucking accidents are caused by driver error, mechanical failure, and road design issues in Hollywood and other Florida cities. Surprisingly, though, winds can also cause trucks to veer out of control. Earlier in November, two semi-trucks in Jacksonville were toppled off a bridge by winds. In that case, the accident caused only minor injuries and no damage to the bridge itself. In other situations, the outcome is not so good.

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Professional truck drivers are taught how to drive in high winds. In some cases, winds can reach speeds higher than a truck is traveling. In cases where strong winds exist, drivers can sometimes avoid collisions by slowing down and proceeding with caution. Drivers need to pay extra attention to high winds when traveling along roads without many trees and when traveling on bridges. On bridges, the force of winds can knock a truck into the water. On roads without trees, there is no wind barrier and the wind may be enough to push the truck into another lane. At the very least, high winds in these situations can make it harder for a driver to remain in control of the vehicle.

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