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FHP targets aggressive drivers amid surge in trucking fatalities

Florida law enforcement has kicked off its Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks, or TACT, campaign, which runs through Oct. 20. The goal is to put a stop to dangerous, aggressive behavior on the roadways, including:

  • Speeding
  • Weaving
  • Tailgating

Law enforcement will be looking for drivers of both passenger vehicles and large trucks who are driving aggressively and causing hazards.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the yearly campaign is more important than ever because it comes after federal data showed that fatal highway accidents are on the rise nationally. In fact, the number of deaths in 2015 was the highest it has been since the 1960s, which has safety experts concerned.

Many fatal accidents are caused by the factors being targeted in the campaign. These behaviors can be especially dangerous when tractor trailers and large trucks are involved.

Fatal tractor-trailer accidents on the rise

When the driver of a tractor trailer makes a mistake -- or other drivers make mistakes around tractor trailers -- the results are often fatal, and we are seeing this happen more frequently on Florida highways. Accidents involving large trucks increased by almost 20 percent last year in the state.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that driver error was the cause of 88 percent of fatal crashes involving large trucks.

In one example last April, a tractor-trailer was trying to pass a slow-moving SUV in Fort Lauderdale but instead collided into the back of a smaller vehicle, killing two people, the Palm Beach Post reported.

What drivers can do to stay safe around tractor trailers

A FHP spokesman said that there are a few things Florida drivers can do to help avoid fatal accidents with a tractor trailer, including:

1. Avoid aggressive driving, which means no speeding, weaving or tailgating.

2. Stay clear of the "No Zones" on trucks, which include the space along the sides, front and back of a large truck where drivers have limited visibility.

3. Give trucks plenty of space because they need more time to stop than passenger vehicles.

4. Don't cut off tractor-trailers or block them in.

If an accident involving a tractor-trailer or an aggressive driver does occur, victims and their families may want to work with a personal injury lawyer who can help make sure they aren't injured twice: once by the accident and again by the insurance company.

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