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Safe Driver Week aims to reduce commercial vehicle accidents

As more people hit the road this holiday season to celebrate with family and friends, semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles will still be a common sight on Florida streets and highways. It is of the utmost importance that truckers in Florida drive safely, for the sake of all other motorists sharing the road. In fact, one initiative, The Operation Safe Driver Program, was instituted to address the number of injuries and fatalities stemming from accidents involving semi-trucks and other large vehicles

Operation Safe Driver Week is behind us, and it has seen considerable success. Almost twice as many commercial drivers were ticketed during the 2017 Operation Safe Driver Week when compared to 2016, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. In 2017, nearly 39,000 tickets and warnings were given to CMV drivers. In 2016, that number sat around 21,000.

The majority of these tickets -- approximately 84 percent -- were for moving violations. This number sat at 57 percent in 2016. The second most common reason drivers were ticketed was for speed violations. After that were seat belt violations, not following traffic control devices and, finally, talking or texting on a cell phone. Interestingly, while truckers have expressed concern about driver fatigue, only 86 warnings and 18 tickets were issued for this reason.

According to one organization, in 2015, over 3,800 individuals were killed in accidents involving semi-trucks. Of those fatalities, almost 70 percent were individuals in passenger vehicles. In addition, another study reports that driver behavior was the cause of over 88 percent of semi-truck accidents.

Much needs to be done to reduce the number of large truck accidents in Florida and across the nation. Programs such as Operation Safe Driver Week are a step in the right direction, but they still come too little, too late for those already injured in accidents caused by a semi-truck driver. Those injured in such accidents may want to work with an attorney to determine if they should pursue a legal filing.

Source: truckinginfo.com, "Officials Hand Out Nearly 39,000 Citations During Safe Driver Week," Dec. 12, 2017

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