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Trucking Collisions and State Enforcement of Traffic Rules

Drivers or big rigs and tractor trailers are subject to more rules than motorists operating passenger cars. Truck drivers also tend to drive across state lines as part of their job, and as a result they may encounter enforcement in different states. Traditionally, truckers have claimed that enforcement can vary widely by state, and now the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has published a study that investigates that.


Enforcement of traffic rules and federal trucking laws is obviously essential in preventing truck crashes in Miami and other cities. The ATRI looked at states by examining 11 different metrics related to enforcement. These metrics involved fatal and serious crashes per million vehicle miles traveled, roadside inspections with and without violations million vehicle miles traveled, and state money spent per Motor Carrier Assistance funding.

Using a formula, the ATRI was able to name the top ten states that show better enforcement and safety when it comes to commercial trucks.

Unfortunately, Florida was not listed as one of those states.

According to ATRI, the top ten states for safety and enforcement for truckers included:

  1. Maryland
  2. Washington
  3. Nevada
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Montana
  6. Connecticut
  7. New Mexico
  8. California
  9. South Dakota
  10. Iowa

Maryland, the top state according to the study, had 27.9 roadside inspections per vehicle miles. Oklahoma, by comparison, had 3.7 roadside inspections per million vehicle miles traveled. This means that a truck driver in Maryland has a much higher chance of being subject to a roadside inspection when compared with a driver in Oklahoma.

It’s not just about inspections. Checking for violations also can be linked to lower crash rates. Many of the states listed as the top 10 for safety and inspections were also found by the ATRI to be among the top ten states when it came to lower collision rates.

Given how important safety and enforcement is, it is important that Florida stays committed to improving enforcement and roadway safety for all road users. Checking commercial trucks for violations could potentially help uncover many dangerous issues including:

  • Overweight and overloaded trucks
  • Unsecured cargo
  • Inebriated drivers
  • Fatigued drivers
  • Worn or bald tires
  • Unsafe brake systems
  • Poorly maintained trucks

Finding these issues and addressing them before a crash occurs is vital. Lack of adequate enforcement can allow dangerous trucks and drivers to stay on the roads and can increase the likelihood of collisions. Safe truck drivers support the idea of strong enforcement, since they have nothing to hide and since unsafe truckers are a danger to everyone on the roads.

The ATRI study did not examine some of the longer-term effects of enforcement in the top ten states, and perhaps this will be a subject for future study. It would be useful to find out whether states with good enforcement were similarly efficient in pursuing unsafe trucks and truck companies until changes were made. How often did found violations lead to charges, fines, and changes?

If you have been injured by a trucking collision, there may be multiple liable parties in your case and you may have a claim that lets you seek compensation for medical bills, lost income, car repairs, and more. To find out details about your rights, contact Flaxman Law Group to discuss your injuries and collision in a free case consultation.