Florida has been the most dangerous state for rear-end truck collisions in North America for years. Those collisions typically occur when a large truck makes a left-hand turn and stops in traffic behind it. The large truck driver quickly drives into the back of another vehicle that is trying to merge into traffic ahead of it. In most cases, the collision is minimal because the truck is relatively safe, and since it weighs so much, it often keeps rolling even if hit from behind. Here are facts about rear-end truck collisions in Florida.
1. Truck versus car collisions have higher death and injury rates.
All states have laws that require drivers of vehicles to yield right of way to other drivers, but Florida’s law is among the most stringent. Most states also have laws requiring trucks to operate at a slower speed than other vehicles, which could be a factor in the difference between fatal truck vs. car collisions. However, truck versus car collisions is more deadly because the truck is so much heavier and moving faster. Also, these collisions often involve multiple vehicles, which is another way in which they differ from a car versus car collisions.
2. Florida’s largest city has more rear-end truck fatalities than any other city.
This may be because drivers here are not as aware of the severity of this type of crash as drivers in other areas. Therefore, they are more likely to be involved in such a collision. Miami also has a large trucking population. Rear-end truck accidents in Miami are more likely to involve large trucks than in other cities in the state. Florida has a larger number of rear-end truck accidents, and it is also a leader in rear-end truck injuries and fatalities.
Florida also has a high degree of commercial truck traffic as large trucks deliver freight to and from Florida’s ports. For example, according to the American Trucking Association, more than 13 million tons of freight move through Miami each year. Miami’s high population density may be another factor in a truck versus car collisions because more people are on the roads.
3. Taller drivers are less likely to be involved in rear-end truck crashes.
Since most large trucks weigh more and move faster, they are a greater danger when stopped and hit from behind. Drivers of smaller vehicles may also be more aware of the risk of being involved in a fatal collision with a large truck and being able to escape such a collision if it occurs.
The Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Highway Patrol have launched campaigns to educate drivers about avoiding truck vs. car collisions. These campaigns have been active in Miami, Florida Turnpike, and I-95.
4. Stopped trucks are more likely to cause rear-end truck collisions.
In most fatal truck accidents, the truck involved is stopped, and the driver behind it fails to apply the brakes or stop. If a large tractor-trailer truck on Florida’s Turnpike, for example, suddenly slams into the back of a car, it is usually not because the car didn’t brake in time. Instead, the truck driver fails to use his brakes properly.
It’s important to be aware of the risks of being involved in a rear-end truck collision and attempt to avoid them in any way possible. The distinction between car accidents involving large trucks and accidents involving other cars is becoming clearer, not just for drivers in Florida but for all drivers across the country.