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National Transit Safety Board Turns Focus to Safety of Rail Tank Cars and Commercial Trucking

It is known that the railroad and trucking industries come with many inherent dangers, but that such dangers can be mitigated and prevented through proper attention to and dedication to safety. Where federal regulations are in place that companies and operators must abide by, accidents and dangers can be prevented.

In a recent article by Government Security News Magazine, the National Transit Safety Board has recognized common dangers that have been increasingly present in rail tank cars and commercial trucking accidents. That is why these issues have been included in the Board’s focus for the remainder of 2015. They have identified areas for needed safety improvements, including requiring that transportation operators be medically fit for duty, strengthening commercial trucking safety, and requiring pilots to strengthen procedural compliance. Among such issues are distraction and impairment. The article relays that in 20102 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration every 1 in 10 drivers in fatal crashes was distracted. In almost a third of fatal crashes, a driver was under the influence of alcohol and impaired.

Our lawyers understand that truck accidents are unfortunately all too common. Illinois is a major hub for trucking and train transportation so these announcements are relevant to us. With its central location and large metropolitan area, there are many trucks going on routes in and out of the Chicago area as part of the interstate commerce that goes on throughout the country. With a high frequency of truck stops, truck accidents are also in high frequency, especially when drivers are negligent and do not act with the care and diligence required in long routes. Crashes can commonly involve distracted drivers, intoxicated drivers, sleep-deprived drivers, overloaded or unsafe trucks, hit-and-runs, rear-end collisions, and rollovers.

Truck accidents are also extremely dangerous, often resulting in serious personal injuries or even death. However, with adherence to safety regulations like those mentioned above, such accidents and resulting injuries can be prevented. It is imperative that drivers uphold principles of safety and refrain from reckless and negligent behavior, such as driving under the influence or distracted and fatigued driving. Drivers accept a responsibility to be safe and not be the cause of accidents when they get behind the wheel. This means that drivers should operate vehicles when well rested and to take breaks between long periods of driving as to avoid exhaustion and remain attentive. Furthermore, drivers should keep their focus on the road instead of talking on the phone while driving, texting, and engaging in other distractions. Additionally, there is no reason a driver should ever get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol.

Our attorneys have counseled many people who have lost loved ones in trucking accidents and support legal regulations that promote and require safe behavior on our roads because it is all too common that truck accidents that would otherwise be preventable cause severe and life altering injuries.