As our regular readers know, trucking accidents are serious matters, often causing serious personal injuries and deaths due to the weight and speed of the vehicles involved. In recent years, truck driver fatigue has been in the spotlight as a major cause of accidents that could have been prevented. Due to tight deadlines and rigorous work schedules imposed by trucking companies, drivers are often forced to drive for too many hours straight, which can cause them to fall asleep behind the wheel. It is difficult for the trucking industry to regulate itself because the industry’s interests lie with both the truckers, who are often pushed to their physical limits to complete jobs, and the companies, who focus on profit, so it is important that lawmakers take a tough stance on such negligence to improve the safety of our roads.
In recent good news reported by Trucking News Online, the American Trucking Association told Congress’s Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee that safety investments are working. They relayed that they are proud of the difference that $7 billion in safety-related investments have made in reducing crashes and fatalities on the nation’s highways in the trucking industry. After the safety investments, large truck-related fatalities have dropped 21 percent and the large truck fatality rate has dropped 37 percent. Industry leaders have cited voluntary measures like crash prevention technology and lane departure devices as reasons for the decline.
According to the same article, these industry leaders have also called on the federal government to continue to focus on truck accidents to maintain the safety and continue to grow it. Among their proposals is to advance a rule requiring the use of speed limiters on large trucks. Additionally, they argue that focusing on on-road traffic enforcement and driver behavior will be effective. They also ask for timely publication of a strong and appropriate mandate for electronic logging devices and to monitor studies surrounding hours-of-service rules.
In another article by The Trucker describing the same conference, preventable crashes were to have dropped 22 percent between 2007 and 2014. This article notes that safety technology will be key in continuing to reduce fatalities, according to trucking industry leaders speaking on behalf of the American Trucking Association. They claim there must be incentives provided by the federal government to adopt progressive safety programs.
Our lawyers hope that trucking accident related fatalities continue to drop as well. We believe that not only does federal law help in this decline, but so does legal action. Through lawsuits, a legal example is made of negligent wrongdoers who do not abide by the law and cause injury or death to others. A lawsuit punishes and holds these individuals accountable and deters others from committing similar wrongs in the future.