A new law is putting some of the heaviest tractor-trailers in the nation on Florida highways, a move the is certain to increase the risk of serious and fatal semi accidents in Fort Lauderdale and throughout South Florida.
The law, which was signed by Gov. Crist and went into effect on July 1, permits semis to add an additional 8,000 pounds of weight to the 80,000 pounds they are already permitted to carry by law. Trucks pose a serious safety risk to motorists precisely because they already weigh about 20 times more than the average passenger car and require three times longer to stop in the event of an emergency. Florida’s 70 mph speed limit is already among the nation’s fastest for large commercial vehicles. When it comes to weight, only four other states permit heavier trucks on the road.
In 2008, a total of 269 fatal Florida trucking accidents were reported. Only California and Texas have worse safety records.
A Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer should always be called to assist a motorist dealing with a serious or fatal accident involving a semi or large commercial vehicle in South Florida. Such cases are frequently complicated by the seriousness of the injuries, in-state and out-of-state trucking and insurance companies and state and federal trucking regulations.
Safety advocates, including Road Safe America and the Florida Safety Council, had lobbied hard against the measure. However, big business once again got its way, with the trucking lobby winning out over the safety of voters and motorists.
“The dangers of increasing tractor-trailer truck weights are well known – they are harder to stop, steer and more vulnerable to roll over during a crash,” said Tom Guilmet, the Executive Director of the Florida Safety Council. “But, by far, the most compelling objection to heavier trucks is the fact that they will cause more deaths and injuries on our highways.”
Freeman & Mallard is a personal injury and wrongful death law firm dedicated to helping motorists who have been injured in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and the Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce areas. Call today for a free consultation. 1-800-529-2368.