Trucking Accidents

Can We Fix the Safety Concerns of I-75?

Trucking AccidentsIn 2013, a high-level Concept Study was completed by the Florida Department of Transportation to help improve safety and reduce the traffic congestion along Interstate 75 and other highways across the state. Their job was to identify long-term safety issues, including a growing demand for truckers and moving freight, as well as the disproportionately high rate of trucking crashes along portions of I-75. From this study a new study was initiated called the I-75 Relief Study. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the need for new corridors between Tampa Bay and North Central Florida.

With this study came a task force was set up to help make improvements and suggests changes to fix and improve dangerous areas along this popular Florida freeway. They proposed unique solutions, such as expanding the interstate with truck-only lanes. They rejected a new toll road cutting through Marion County’s horse-country, however, and many of the ideas stalled.

Improvements to I-75 Can No Longer Wait

Earlier this year, a fiery truck crash on the I-75 in Alachua County brought the dangers of the I-75 out into the spotlight once again. The deadly crash killed seven people, including 5 children who were on the way to Disney World.

Now, Florida safety officials can no longer delay on safety improvements to I-75. Some of the proposed changes to I-75 that could significantly reduce the number of deadly trucking accidents have included:

  • Infrastructure changes to accommodate the growing number of large semi-trucks and big rigs that routinely travel across the state
  • Toll road cutting through Marion County
  • Truck-only lanes
  • Increased law enforcement on I-75
  • Expanding and widening lanes on I-75
  • Stronger guardrails
  • Electronic monitoring of speeding
  • Expanding U.S. 301 and 41 to accomodate more overflow traffic from I-75
  • Expanding rail service

Trucking Accidents along the I-75

Data shows that large truck volume spiked along the I-75 in recent years and with it trucking accidents also rose. On the stretch of interstate in Alachua and Marion counties, large truck crashes skyrocketed from 171 in 2011 to 331 in 2015 alone. The reason for this increase can be directly tied to the increase in truck volume in recent years, as well as the increase in distracted driving on U.S. roads.

Just how deadly is the I-75? It was named one of the most dangerous highways in the country by ValuePenguin because of the number of fatal accidents that occur here every year. It sees more drunk driving accidents than other roads across the U.S. and has longer than average wait times for emergency medical services.

Contact Our Daytona Beach Trucking Accident Attorneys

If you or someone you love is involved in a trucking accident on the I-75 or anywhere in Daytona Beach, Florida, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries. At Zimmet & Zimmet, our experienced Daytona Beach trucking accident  lawyers have extensive experience representing injured trucking accident victims throughout the state of Florida. Contact us today for a free initial consultation and review of your case. Call 386-255-6400 or fill out our confidential contact form and someone will call you back! Our dedicated and compassionate trucking accident lawyers are ready to help you after a tragic trucking accident. Call today!

Additional Reading

Stages of a Trucking Accident Claim

Could Trucking Accidents Be Reduced with Electronic Logging Devices?

Could Trucking Accidents be Reduced with Electronic Logging Devices

Could Trucking Accidents be Reduced with Electronic Logging Devices?

A year ago, Electronic Logging Devices became federally mandated in every commercial trucking vehicle. Unlike paper logs, these electronic devices keep perfect track of how long truck drivers operate behind the wheel. This prevents unscrupulous trucking companies and drivers from altering the written log books and violating federal law. Currently, the law mandates that drivers are only allowed to operate for 11 of 14 hours before taking a 10-hour break. Do they work or do they cause more problems?

The Federal Mandate

Many trucking companies encourage their drivers to drive long hours in order to increase their profits. As a result, many truck drivers altered their log books to match federal law, even if they routinely drove overtime. In 2012, Congress passed the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” bill which outlined funding for highway and included a provision that required the FMCSA to adopt a rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices. In 2015. The FMCSA finalized this rule in 2015 and trucking companies had until December of 2017 to comply with this law.

The Good

The ELDs make it impossible for drivers and trucking companies to break the law and it precisely counts the amount of time a truck driver is behind the wheel. This means less fatigued drivers and hopefully fewer trucking accidents. For some truckers, this has been a welcome change and one that has made them safer drivers. In fact, over the first nine months, hours-of-service violations decreased by 48%. Yet not everyone agrees that ELDs have been helpful.

The Bad

Some truckers have claimed that they have lost money because of these ELDs. Since the devices track total time behind the wheel, they are being tracked even while waiting for a shipment to be loaded. Since many truckers only get paid per mile driven, this has cut into their paychecks. Other drivers have said that they routinely find themselves speeding to “beat the clock” before they are forced to take a rest break. Trucking companies have criticized the devices and the mandate for affecting their profits and making it more difficult to deliver goods on time.

Proposed Future Changes

Like most new mandates, there are some areas of improvement. The FMCSA is using the ELDs to help them formulate ideas to update the hours-of-services regulations. Since the ELDs track time – even time spent in traffic – this has cost the trucking industry over $74.5 billion. To help this, one proposed change may be to change the mandatory 10-hour rest break into two different sections. This would allow drivers to take advantage of driving times that were outside of rush-hour. Dropping the 30 minutes rest breaks is also something that could change in the future.

Contact a Daytona Beach Trucking Accident Lawyer Today

If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident, time is critical. You need to collect the information on the ELDs, as well as the black box data before it is lost or destroyed.  At Zimmet & Zimmet, our experienced Daytona Beach trucking accident lawyers can investigate your accident and collect the evidence needed to build your case. Contact us today for a free initial consultation and review of your case. Call 386-255-6400 or fill out our confidential contact form and someone will call you back!

For More Information

Truck Accident

The Stages of a Trucking Accident Claim

Trucking accidents in the United States cause over 5,000 deaths annually, and an additional 100,000 injuries. The blame for these accidents can be spread between numerous parties, including:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • The shipping company
  • The truck manufacturer
  • The truck maintenance company
  • Passenger vehicle drivers

Due to the complexities of these types of accidents, it is important to contact an experienced trucking accident attorney as soon after the accident as possible. Your attorney will need to begin the claims process quickly to avoid potentially losing valuable evidence.

Stages of a Trucking Accident Claim

Truck Accident

Without an attorney on your side, it will be difficult to obtain the compensation you need after a devastating trucking accident. Trucking companies typically have large legal teams on their side, and their main objectives are to reduce liability, as well as the amount of a settlement. They do not care how much you truly need to recover or rebuild your life, which is why you need someone on your side who will protect your rights throughout the legal process.

Collecting Evidence

The first phase of your trucking accident claim involves collecting evidence that could help your case. This includes the driver’s logs, maintenance records, and black box data. It may also include reviewing the personnel files of the driver to ensure they received adequate training and maintained a good safety record. Unfortunately, some of this evidence can be lost or destroyed after an accident if you do not act quickly. In fact, black box data is often rewritten or discarded after 30 days.

To obtain this information, a protective order may be required to save the data, and a subpoena may be necessary to obtain access to it.

Demand Letter 

Once evidence is gathered, a demand letter will be submitted to the at-fault driver, which:

  • Notifies them that you wish to file a lawsuit
  • Lists the damages you are seeking
  • Specifies the amount you are seeking as a settlement to your injuries

The responsible party named in the lawsuit will then have the opportunity to respond to your letter and make a counter-offer. During this process, it is important that you discuss any offers received with your attorney so you are able to reach a mutually acceptable settlement.

Trial

If you cannot reach a mutual agreement, then your case will proceed to trial. This can easily take a year or more. During the trial, your attorney will have a chance to make opening statements, call witnesses to testify, and show the jury the evidence of your case. Experts may even be called from both sides to substantiate their claims. Once the trial is concluded, the jury will reach a decision and the verdict will be read in court.

Have You Been Injured in a Trucking Accident?

At Zimmet & Zimmet, our lawyers know how complex and difficult trucking accident cases can be. We know that trucking accident victims need aggressive representation from the moment they are injured, and we aren’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with large insurance companies.  Contact us today at 386-255-6400 for a free initial consultation and review of your case.

For More Information:

Street Racing to Blame for Deadly Florida Pedestrian Accident

The Dangers of Texting and Driving in Florida