Miami is a major international trade hub that sits at the junction of Interstate Highways 95 and 75 (Alligator Alley), two of the most heavily traveled roads in the U.S. It’s no surprise, then, that the Miami area sees intense truck traffic all year long.
Because of their immense size and weight, semis and other large trucks cause tremendous damage when they crash. A single truck accident can have a major impact on the lives of a dozen or more people and their families. Here, we will look at some Miami truck accident statistics, and what those statistics mean.
National Trends: Safe Drivers, but Devastating Crashes
Before zeroing in on the Miami area, it is good to take a look at truck accident statistics from across the U.S. Most truck drivers have gone through extensive training, and both they and the companies they work for take great pride in maintaining strong safety records. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that in 2012, only 3.5% of truck drivers involved in accidents causing fatalities had any alcohol in their systems, compared with over 26% of passenger car drivers in fatal crashes. These numbers and many others show that the real problem with truck accidents is not the frequency but the severity of the crashes.
A truck colliding with a passenger vehicle, even a seemingly sturdy SUV, is an unfair fight. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration numbers show that 71% of fatalities in 2013 truck accidents were occupants of smaller vehicles while only 17% were occupants of a large truck. Unfortunately, the remaining 12% of those killed were not in a vehicle at all.
Data on Trucking Company Safety
Various government and public agencies track and report on the safety performance of commercial carriers. Since commercial carriers account for the vast majority of trucks on the road, these numbers give a good representation of overall trends.
According to the informational website Carrier 411, 54,550 out of 72,730 carriers studied (75%) have Satisfactory safety ratings. “Satisfactory” may not sound very impressive, but it is actually the highest rating given. Another 16,966 (23%) of carriers have a conditional safety rating. These carriers have been asked by the government to improve their safety management methods but do not have any record of actual safety problems. That means only 2% of national carriers have unsatisfactory safety ratings due to demonstrated unsafe performance. Those are impressive numbers, indeed. Still, the damage a single truck can do in a crash means that if even 2% of trucks on the road are driven unsafely, it can have a far-reaching, painful impact.
Studies on Truck Crashes in the Miami Area
The Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) recently completed an intensive study of truck safety on Interstate 75, one of the main arteries of the Miami area highway system. The researchers collected huge amounts of data on truck traffic, concluding that lane restrictions for trucks reduce crashes and improve overall highway safety. Additional studies are planned in the near future for the I-95 corridor and many other major roads in the region.
How a Lawyer Can Help
If you have been involved in an accident with a truck, you know that Miami truck accident statistics represent real people enduring real suffering. Attorney Boris Lavent knows the statistics and knows how to help truck crash victims. Call us at 305-440-0450 to schedule a free consultation.