Reducing Trucking Accidents and Fatalities on Florida Highways

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Whether you are driving on I-95 in West Palm Beach or along the Florida Turnpike, chances are you often pass large trucks. Trucking accidents are a serious problem in South Florida and throughout the country. As a fact sheet from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) explains, about one out of every 10 deaths on the highway involves a large truck, and passengers in smaller automobiles often are the victims of these fatal crashes. Most 18-wheelers, or semi-trucks, weigh 10,000 pounds or more. As such, a collision between a big rig and a car can be deadly.

However, many truck accidents are preventable. According to a recent article in Fleet Owner, certain trucking companies are taking safety precautions that are greatly reducing the risk of serious and fatal crashes.

Improving Truck Accident Rates with a Culture of Safety 

As the article argues, creating a “culture of safety” around truck driving can help to reduce the rate of trucking crashes and resulting personal injuries and fatalities. As one trucking company owner, who has reduced the rate of accidents by about 23 percent in the last three years, explained, “what we do relative to safety is we weave that into the fabric of the business.” He went on to clarify: “That [safety] is what we want to accomplish. We want a self-sustaining safety culture that’s driven by the employees. We want organizational alignment. We want everyone knowing their job is contributing toward the greater success of the business.”

When an entire trucking company focuses on safety at multiple different levels, and in varying aspects of the business, safety records can improve, the article suggests. Truck accident prevention is not only about raising awareness about the hazards of large truck crashes, but rather is about changing the very nature of the trucking industry.

Safety Practices Proven to Reduce the Rate of Trucking Crashes 

What are some of the safety practices that are integrated into the structure of trucking companies with particularly low rates of collisions? The following are some examples provided in the article:

  • Taking into account employee suggestions: Truck drivers often know about safety issues that may not cross the minds of executives who are not on the road. Taking into account truckers’ suggestions, and emphasizing a clear line of communication between employers and truck drivers, can make the industry safer. For example, one trucking company installed specific lighting recommended by a driver to help improve the process of backing into facilities while also avoiding blinding lights.
  • Training: Spending more time than is required by law on safety training, and really emphasizing its importance, can improve a trucking company’s safety record. In particular, defensive driving programs can help truck drivers learn how to drive safely and to avoid crashes.
  • “Spec’ing” and safety technologies: Providing specifications for safety is extremely important. By using new technologies, like collision mitigation systems, truck companies can help to reduce their accident rates.

Seek Advice from a Boca Raton Trucking Accident Lawyer 

Far too many truck accidents happen in South Florida. In many cases, another driver’s negligence caused the crash. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a recent collision, an experienced Boca Raton truck accident lawyer can discuss your options with you. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC to learn more about filing a trucking accident lawsuit.

Resources:

iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/large-trucks/qanda

fleetowner.com/safety/case-study-how-one-carrier-reduced-its-work-related-injury-accident-rates

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