The risk of truck collisions is a very real possibility in Columbus. There are many different causes of truck accidents, and even a seemingly minor crash can have very serious consequences for those who are involved. A truck accident lawyer knows there are many federal rules passed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to try to reduce crash risks, and there are also state laws in place. Unfortunately, the laws that exist currently may not be adequate to protect truckers and the public from crash risks, and there is plenty of room to pass new and more effective legislation to make the streets safer.
New Safety Rules Could Reduce Truck Collision Risks
The American Trucking Association (ATA) was asked to testify before a Senate subcommittee, and the ATA made some important suggestions for new safety steps that should be taken in order to help improve safety within the commercial transportation industry.
According to Tire Business, the American Trucking Association recommended that lawmakers:
- Require the use of speed limiters in all large trucks.
- Shift the focus of inspections and enforcements. Currently, many resources are devoted to conducting roadside inspections to find possible violations. Some of these resources should be diverted to step up enforcement of driver behavior rules and on-road traffic violations.
- Change training requirements. The training now is too focused on the number of hours of driving and instruction a trucker has received. Instead, it should be focused on comprehension and making sure that the trucker has developed the necessary real-world skills in order to be a safe driver.
- Monitor changes to hours-of-service rules. Controversial hours-of-service rules required truckers to include two overnight periods between 1:00 am and 5:00 am when taking a required 34-hour rest break after reaching their weekly driving limits. These rules were opposed by many in the trucking industry and were suspended as part of a larger legislative effort that included the must-pass legislation funding the government. The ATA believes the impact of the suspension of the rules should be studied.
- Create incentives for crash avoidance technologies like lane departure warning systems and frontal crash warning systems so that they are more likely to be incorporated in trucks. This could make it possible for collisions to be prevented by automated systems.
The ATA is not the only organization that thinks there is plenty of room to improve truck safety rules. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is also aware that more needs to be done to make commercial trucks safer. The NTSB has a list of "Most Wanted" agenda items it tends to pursue each year, and truck safety is one of the things on that list for 2015 according to Transport Topics. The goal of the NTSB will be to explore a "broad spectrum" of new policies designed to help improve overall safety. Some of these new policies may include changing maintenance rules for large vehicles as well as making sure that truck drivers are medically fit to operate their vehicles.
It remains to be seen if the NTSB or lawmakers will be effective at implementing new safety rules, but at least a dialogue on truck safety has now been opened up and progress could potentially be made.
Contact our Columbus, OH accident lawyers today. Call 1-800-930-SCOTT or visit https://www.sestriallaw.com for a free case consultation. Serving Franklin County, Delaware County, Licking County, Fairfield County, Pickaway County, Madison County and Union County.