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Weight and Speed Often a Factor in South Florida Tractor-Trailer Accidents

Trucking companies are getting citation after citation for putting overloaded trucks on our roadways — but that doesn’t seem to be stopping them.

According to MyFoxAtlanta, these trucks are only getting tickets of $75 – $100 for traveling thousands of pounds over the national and state weight limit — 80,000 pounds. And many of these trucks are traveling next to you and your family on Florida roads.

Our Fort Lauderdale trucking accident lawyers understand that although these laws are in black and white, trucking companies continue to break them. A single-axle truck is allowed to weigh 20,000 pounds, a tandem-axle truck is allowed to weigh 34,500 pounds and the gross vehicle weight of a semi and trailer cannot exceed 80,000 pounds. National weight standards apply to commercial vehicle operations on the Interstate Highway System, an approximately 40,000-mile system of limited access, divided highways that spans the nation. Off the Interstate Highway System, states may set their own commercial vehicle weight standards, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

It’s not just truck weight that’s concerning safety officials. Many weight tens of thousands of pounds and they’re traveling far too fast. According to Road Safe America, the U.S. Department of Transportation is currently considering enacting a rule to require all Heavy Commercial Vehicles to use speed limiters. Officials want them to set a maximum speed limit of 65 miles per hour. Road Safe America is backing this rule, too – saying that it’s key in helping to make our roadways safer for everyone.

Officials with Road Safe America are asking you to step in and voice your concerns by contacting your local Congressmen and Senator to push the enactment of this rule. On their website, they have provided residents with a sample letter that you can print out and send off to your elected officials.

Trucking accidents might be more serious than you ever thought. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these accidents took the lives of close to 4,000 people in the US in 2010. In addition to these fatalities, another 100,000 people were injured in these kinds of accidents. And Florida was one of the most dangerous states in the nation.

In the Sunshine State, there were close to 3,500 vehicles involved in fatal accidents in 2010. Of these vehicles, close to 200 of them were commercial trucks. We ranked in 3rd place among states for seeing the most trucks involved in fatal accidents. And many of these fatalities could have been prevented if companies and drivers had obeyed weight and speed limits.

From 2009 top 2010, the number of commercial trucks involved in fatal accidents actually increased by close to 10 percent. And you’re most at risk, too. The occupants of these large trucks are rarely the ones affected in these accidents. Motorists like us, in smaller passenger vehicles, don’t have a lot to defend against the size, weight and speed of these trucks.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez at 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Broward Trucking Accidents and The Right to Reduce the Risks, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, November 6, 2012

Two Interstate Highway Accidents Shutting Down All Lanes, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, July 19, 2012

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