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CHICAGO, IL, October 18, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- In the United States, we are heavily dependent on semi trucks for carrying freight to where it is needed. Semi trucks are a common sight on highways. The impact these trucks have on traffic safety cannot be overestimated. The federal government has established numerous rules and regulations to improve the performance and safety record of the trucking industry. Large truck crashes
continue to cause injuries and deaths
, though improvements have been made. A recent piece of legislation called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) will soon add new requirements to ensure that trucking companies operate with safety as a priority.
In August of this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued its final rule on a unified registration system. The rule gives carriers a Nov. 1 deadline to comply with the requirements of the new system. The registration system is intended to help the FMCSA police unsafe carriers, as well as make it easier to access important information about trucking companies.
In the past, a trucking company with a poor safety record could simply register under a new identity to stay ahead of FMCSA penalties. The new system may help put a stop to that practice. New applicants are assigned an inactive Department of Transportation number. That number remains inactive pending an agency determination that the applicant meets the requirements of a safe carrier.
In addition to the registration system, MAP-21 calls for an extensive study concerning safe truck size and weight limits. The relationship between truck crashes
and the size of the vehicle is not clearly established. There is currently variation between the size and weight limits put forth by individual states and those listed by the federal government. The study may lead to new guidelines to limit the damage caused to roads, bridges and motorists by larger trucks.
MAP-21 contains numerous provisions. Everything from storing information about commercial drivers who fail drug and alcohol tests
to identifying carriers with common owners or managers is covered under the new law. The goal is to reduce the thousands of fatalities and tens of thousands of injuries caused by truck crashes every year across the country. It may take some time for the impact of MAP-21 to be fully understood. Hopefully, it will lead to enhanced safety for commercial drivers and the motorists who share the roads with them every day.
Our Chicago personal injury trial lawyers are strong advocates for injured adults, children and newborns. We are proud of our record of recovering over $500 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of people who have suffered injury or loss because of someone else's negligence or misconduct.
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