March 16, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Crash accountability rules under fire from trucking groups
Article provided by Dano ? Gilbert PS
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The trucking industry has often experienced challenges in developing new safety initiatives that effectively cut down the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by trucking accidents. For decades, officials were able to reduce fatalities caused in regular passenger vehicle accidents, but deaths in trucking accidents remained consistent, according to National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) accident data.
As a result, many different federal and state agencies made trucking safety a top priority. Within the past few years the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the agency most responsible for creating new rules for trucking companies, implemented a series of changes that would hold truck drivers and trucking companies more accountable for safety violations.
These changes would impact owners or drivers engaging in practices that increased the risk of a trucking accident. This includes failing to keep vehicles properly maintained, as well as hiring drivers with repeat safety violations. Drivers or owners that receive an excessive amount of points due to violations may be ordered out-of-service, and not allowed to operate until they have corrected the problems and paid any fines associated with their actions.
One of the rules passed deals specifically with trucking accidents, and it is being reviewed to determine its effectiveness. Whenever a trucking accident occurred, the driver and owner was assessed a safety violation for being involved in the accident, no matter who caused the accident. The agency believed that this was necessary to help them learn if certain drivers or companies were involved in accidents repeatedly due to their failure to follow safety procedures.
Trucking industry groups are upset at this practice, because they feel that many of the accidents are caused by other drivers on roadways, including those in passenger vehicles that are near the trucks. They are asking the agency to review police reports to determine fault in an accident before the owners or drivers are hit with a violation.
This could cause the FMCSA to reconsider the rules it currently has in place, and potentially make roadways less safe. Drivers that repeatedly get into trucking accidents may be practicing unsafe habits that result in crashes, even if they are not the sole cause of the collision. The agency will need to determine if it wants to make these changes, but has not stated if any modifications will be made to the current rules.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, it can be a very difficult and confusing time. You may not know where to go to discuss your questions and concerns. Insurance companies may be flooding you with settlement offers in the hopes that you will release your claims for much less that they may ultimately be worth.
You need to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney to understand the true value of your case. Because each accident and the resulting injuries differ in severity, you need someone who can analyze your situation and help you recover compensation from those responsible.---
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