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Federal Regulators in Uphill Battle for Better Truck Safety

Federal regulators have been trying to curb truck accidents all across the country for years now. From limiting driver hours to determining how often a truck needs to be serviced, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) generally acts in the public’s best interests. Why is Congress seemingly taking steps in the opposite direction then?

As outlined in a full article from the New York Times – seen here – some of the Congressional acts in the last couple months have tinkered with FMCSA regulations. Some of changes include:

  • Increasing driver work weeks to 82 hours from 70
  • Discouraging wireless tech to monitor all truckers and their vehicles
  • Promoting the use of longer, heavier commercial trucks
  • Encouraging interstate truck driver minimum age to drop to just 18

Nothing in the aforementioned list really puts safety first. In fact, it almost suggests that Congress and trucking industries do not realize the damage that can be caused in a truck accident. According to the most recent data collected, in 2013, nearly 4,000 American lives were lost in truck accidents, a 17% spike since 2009. This is a disproportionately huge number of fatal collisions considering that trucks drive less than 10% of the total miles traveled by all vehicles in the United States, as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports.

Is Public Safety Seriously at Risk?

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) insists that they are actually working towards safer roadways. They argue that by putting larger vehicles on the road for greater lengths of time, trucking companies will actually require less trucks overall. Thus, less trucks out there should mean less accidents. Right?

Opponents of their claims say it would only mean more exhausted drivers operating vehicles that are even more difficult to control. This all means more accidents. They go on to say that the only motivation behind the changes to federal regulations is the bottom dollar. Every alteration so far seems to save large trucking corporations money in the end while possibly increasing the danger other motorists face.

If you have been in a truck accident due to the negligence of the truck driver, you can seek compensation that will help you pay for medical bills and repair costs. Your comfortable recovery can start today by contacting our Louisiana truck accident attorneys from Anderson & Boutwell. With more than 60 years of combined experience under our belts, we can utilize unique and creative legal strategies to build your case and even uphold your rights in court, if need be.


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