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Truck awareness can help prevent accidents in Florida

While Pinellas County is somewhat its own separate community, its proximity to Tampa and Interstate 275 means that there are a number of tractor-trailers that enter it. When trucks and cars try to share the same space, a truck accident can occur.
 
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    December 25, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- While Pinellas County is somewhat its own separate community, its proximity to Tampa and Interstate 275 means that there are a number of tractor-trailers that enter it. When trucks and cars try to share the same space, a truck accident can occur.

Florida and truck accidents

Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles' 2010 report showed that heavy trucks were involved in 3,329 crashes. Over 1,800 resulted in injury and 58 were fatal. When tractor-trailers are involved in accidents, the majority of injuries and fatalities occur to passenger vehicle occupants, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. For example, national statistics from 2011 show that 16 percent of fatalities in truck accidents were occupants of the trucks while 66 percent were occupants of other vehicles.

A driver was injured after two tractor-trailers hit each other in Port St. Lucie, TC Palm reported. Several other cars and a third tractor-trailer were also involved in the accident. It is unknown whether the injured victim was one of the truckers or was driving a passenger vehicle but is expected to be alright. The cars did not hit the trucks themselves, but debris from the trucks' collision.

Truckers' and drivers' responsibility

Truckers have a large responsibility to the other vehicles, bikers and pedestrians around them. As such, it is important for truckers to avoid behaviors that can put them at risk, such as eating/drinking, smoking, reading maps, using a cell phone, speeding, driving recklessly and fixating on objects outside of the cab. Trucking companies have an obligation to make sure that trucking loads are secure and that their vehicles are mechanically sound.

Likewise, drivers can also act in a responsible manner when in the proximity of tractor-trailers. These actions include:
- Don't try to squeeze by a semi that is making a right-hand turn - semis often have to turn from the left lane onto a new road and trying this maneuver can be disastrous.
- Give tractor-trailers room to merge onto the road or change lanes to avoid an unnecessary accident.
- Don't cut in front of a semi - semis that are fully loaded weigh up to 80,000 pounds and this means that they need a lot more room in which to stop if the car directly in front of them hits the brakes.
- Avoid riding in the no zones - A truck's blind spots are quite large. Drivers should avoid staying directly behind the truck, to either side of the cab or directly in front as truckers are unable to see them there.
- Keep in mind that tractor-trailers may need to change gears while traveling up a hill and this can cause them to slow down and even drift backwards.

In addition, drivers can avoid accidents by obeying all existing traffic laws and showing courtesy to truckers. Doing so can keep them safe as well as other drivers, pedestrians and passengers around them. When a person is injured due to negligence on the part of a truck driver or a trucking company, it is important to speak with a qualified attorney for legal guidance.

Article provided by Perenich, Caulfield, Avril, & Noyes, P.A.
Visit us at www.usalaw.com



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