In 2015, fatal truck accidents in Florida increased by almost 20 percent. Likewise, speeding crashes increased from 245 in 2014 to 320 in 2015. Analysis of Florida’s 2015 fatal crash data found that driver error, especially reckless or aggressive driving, caused as many as 88 percent of the crashes between large trucks and passenger vehicles.
Now, Florida Highway Patrol troopers are taking action to reduce this deadly trend.
Starting now through October 20, 2016, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is running TACT — Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks. This initiative will seek out aggressive drivers and hopefully, help make our highways safer for all road users.
What does Florida consider ‘aggressive driving’?
Florida is one of only 11 states to have a specific definition and law against aggressive driving. The law defines aggressive or careless driving as at least two of the following actions:
- Following too closely
- Unsafely or improperly changing lanes
- Failure to yield right-of-way
- Violating traffic control and signal devices
- Improperly passing another vehicle
Many of these behaviors also fall under the common concept of road rage, which can cause drivers’ reaction times to slow because they are focused on whatever caused their anger rather than the road around them.
What are the dangers of aggressive driving with large trucks?
All drivers need to keep a cool head and drive courteously at all times. However, when truck drivers or passenger car drivers act aggressively around each other, the results are often catastrophic or deadly.
When truck drivers engage in aggressive driving, they can cause rollover accidents when they take sharp turns or jackknife accidents when they have to come to a stop. They can also cause override accidents if they do not leave enough space between their truck and the cars in front of them.
Passenger car drivers should take heed of a truck’s blind spots, which make driving close to a semi-truck very dangerous. Even though it is daunting and sometimes frustrating to drive near a truck, do not attempt to overtake the truck. You should keep a safe distance from all parts of the truck and watch its lights identify when the driver is trying to change lanes, stop, or turn.
Remember that large trucks take longer than a passenger vehicle to come to a stop. If you cut off a truck when changing lanes, the driver might not be able to stop in time, causing an override accident.
FHP troopers also warn drivers that speed is a major factor in many fatal crashes. The faster your car is traveling, the longer it takes to stop. If you cannot stop in time, the impact with another car or fixed object could be serious or fatal.
Where can I get help after an accident?
When aggressive drivers cause accidents, you have the right to seek damages for your injuries and losses.
Contact the South Florida accident injury attorneys at Montero Law Center for information on your right to recovery. Call us at 954-767-6500 to tell us about your accident and schedule a free consultation.