Officials with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) and with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) have been working to target aggressive car and truck drivers. During the “Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks” (TACT) campaign, officials are on the lookout for aggressive driving, particularly violations that involve commercial trucks or dangerous behavior that occurs around tractor-trailers.
Motorists are at a strong disadvantage when up against large, commercial vehicles. These trucks can be up to 80 feet in length and can weigh many tons. These trucks can take about 40 percent longer to come to a complete stop than our smaller vehicles. For these reasons, it’s important that we all cooperatively share the road.
Our Broward trucking accident lawyers understand that there were about 645 accidents on Florida roadways each and every day in 2012. In these accidents, there were close to 2,500 fatalities — 20 of those fatalities involved medium/heavy trucks (more than 10,000 pounds). There were also more than 400 injuries sustained in these accidents. And many of them were preventable.
“We can reduce crashes if we all share the roads safely, avoid aggressive driving behaviors and exercise additional caution when driving near larger vehicles,” said Colonel David Brierton, Florida Highway Patrol Director.
Do you drive defensively around large vehicles? Follow these tips from the FHP to help ensure a safe trip:
-Stay out of a truck’s “No Zone.” Large, commercial vehicles have even larger blind spots. These are the areas around the truck that the driver cannot see. As a rule of thumb, remember that if you cannot see the driver, then the driver cannot see you.
-Pass large trucks with caution. Your best bet is to pass a truck on its left side to make sure the driver can see you. You also want to maintain a constant speed when doing so.
-Never cut a truck off. You also want to make sure that you’re leaving them with plenty of room. Trucks cannot stop as easily as we can.
-Keep your patients. Just as these vehicles cannot stop as easily, it takes them a little longer to get going, too. Keep your cool when these trucks are not traveling at the same speed as you are.
-Avoid distracted driving. Anything can be distraction, including the radio, a passenger or a cell phone. Taking your eyes off the road for just a few seconds can be deadly.
Be safe out there and remain calm when driving around these large vehicles. Do it for your own safety and do it to avoid a traffic stop and citation from a Florida officer.
“Safety on Florida’s roadways is a cooperative effort by cars and trucks alike. As an industry, safety is at the top of our minds — it matters above all else,” said Mary Lou Rajchel, Florida Trucking Assn. president & CEO.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a traffic accident, contact the Hollander Law Firm at 888-751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.