Tractor Trailer accident on I-95 in Broward causes massive delays

December 8, 2010

Between heavy congestion and an average of 1.73 fatal accidents per mile truckers are not spared when it comes to bad accidents on I-95 in South Florida. The Miami Herald reports that this morning the highway was shut down for several hours as two tractor trailers and a vehicle collided. The wreck left a load of plywood as well as approximately 150 gallons of diesel fuel and 30 gallons of oil on the road.

According to the NHTSA, “In 2008, 380,000 large trucks were involved in traffic crashes in the United States; 4,066 were involved in fatal crashes. A total of 4,229 people died (11% of all the traffic fatalities reported in 2008) and an additional 90,000 were injured in those crashes.”

In order to educate the public on safety precautions when sharing a road with a truck, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety compiled a list of the most common annoyances as well as what measures drivers can take to avoid collisions with trucks.

1. Tailgating- Many times truckers receive a bonus for achieving fuel-economy goals and the best way to do that is to maintain a steady speed. Though the aggression caused by them might make you want to slow down even more or tap on your breaks, the best thing to do is just to move over and let them pass. Most trucks weigh about 80,000 pounds so they aren’t able to stop as quickly as a vehicle so trying to annoy them by slowing down can potentially lead to a deadly accident.

2. Tire Treads- Since trucks often have heavy loads and up to 18 wheels, many times the underinflated tires overheat causing sections of the tire to fly off. Although this situation is unavoidable, AAA suggests that you try and drive over the small pieces and switch lanes to avoid the larger ones.

3. Rain Splashing- Trucks from the United Kingdom and other European Union Countries are required to have spray mitigation devices. As a result, you might be driving and suddenly be blindsighted by water covering your windshield. In order to ensure your safety, before hitting the road you should make sure to have good wiper blades and turn them on high speed before you approach a truck. Additionally, if you are trying to pass a truck, make sure you can get all the way past the truck to avoid being stuck alongside it and being splashed continuously.

4. “Elephant Racing”- This is the term given to one truck pulling over to pass another truck and they end up consequently running together and blocking two lanes. Though this situation might be unnerving, it is not done on purpose. Oftentimes the truck attempts to pass but runs out of power because of inclines and heavy loads. Rather than dangerously trying to maneuver your way through it, relax and wait it out.

5. Trucks not slowing down for severe weather- South Florida gets an average of 58 inches of rainfall every year. Slick roadways only add to the already dangerous roads. Truckers are on a tight delivery schedule. The last thing you want to do is be around a truck if it loses control. The best thing to do in this situation is to allow the truck to go past you. Do not try and speed up and pass them, as you might hydroplane and put your life in danger.

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