Truck crashes increase across the US

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The number of crashes involving semi-trucks has been increasing in the last few years and on the First Coast and there's one county that's in the top Florida counties with the most accidents.

In 2013 Duval County came in at number 7 among the Florida counties with the most truck crashes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. In 2014, Duval already had 50 by February.

"The reason for that is because we got one of the biggest ports in the state, we've got CSX headquartered in Jacksonville, we've got Crowley headquartered here we've got Toyota, so this is a logistics hub," said Joe Lackey, Intsructional program Manager for FSCJ's Cecil Center Commercial Driving School.

An economic boom has called for more truck drivers on road. Lackey says his students sit through a month long course inside a classroom before they can even get inside a truck.

An indoor truck motion simulator moves and tilts just like a truck so students can clock several driving hours in any weather condition, and any real life traffic situation before putting the 80-thousand pounds on a real road.

Students at the center also have to clock 1000 miles of driving time in the truck to pass the course and qualify for the Commercial Driving License exam.

Lackey says he's been in the commercial driving industry for 20 years and safety is key to prevent accidents, especially fatal ones.

In June, Actor Tracy Morgan was seriously injured in a crash that killed one person and injured others involving a Walmart truck.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, fatal and non fatal truck crashes f increased seven percent between 2010 and 201. Truck Driver Johnny Kelly says he was in his first accident in 14 years Wednesday afternoon on I-10 near U.S. 301 when a small car slammed into his truck.

"I looked back and saw the car in the rear view mirror swerving they ran up under the driver side bumper of the trailer," said Kelly.

Kelly works for a company in Jackson, Mississippi, he moves freight and also instructs future drivers. He says drivers have one goal after doing their job.

"Our goal is to get home safe, I got a wife and kids I want to get home to them," added Kelly.

In 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rolled out the Compliance Safety Accountability program which keeps track of violations and the severity of the violations for truck drivers and companies. That history can cause companies to be fined or shutdown altogether and can seriously affect a driver's future employment.


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