December 05, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- In performing its responsibility to regulate the safety of the interstate trucking industry, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) closely monitors truck accident data and it uses that data to determine when new safety regulations are necessary. The FMCSA recently released the truck accident data for calendar year 2011, and that data reflects some disturbing statistics.
In 2011, there were 3,341 fatalities attributable to truck accidents
, which was an increase over 2010. Even more alarming, 60,000 individuals were injured as a result of truck accidents, which represented a 7% increase over the number injured in 2010. Based upon these sobering statistics, the FMCSA has announced that additional safety regulations may be necessary to curb the number of truck accidents that are occurring on the nation's roadways.
Speeding and drug use are common problems
According to the accident data, speed-related factors were the most common causes of collisions involving large trucks. Therefore, the FMCSA is pushing for safety regulations that would require the installation and use of speed governors on heavy trucks. In addition to its reducing fuel consumption, the agency believes that restricting the speed of large trucks through the use of speed governors would greatly reduce the number of speed-related truck accidents.
Besides speeding, the FMCSA also identified drunk driving
and drug use among truck drivers to be major contributing factors in many truck accidents. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, up to 35 percent of truck drivers who die in truck accidents have alcohol or illegal drugs--mainly amphetamines and marijuana--in their systems.
Although the FMCSA has not proposed new safety regulations to curb alcohol and drug use at this time, lawmakers have stepped in to address the issue. In November of 2012, bipartisan legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would order the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to add hair testing to the urine drug testing that already is mandatory for commercial truck drivers.
Since hair testing is a more sensitive and effective tool for detecting regular drug use, the lawmakers feel the proposed legislation would make it harder for drug abusers to obtain employment as truck drivers.
An attorney can help
Hopefully, the proposed safety measures will reduce the incidence of truck accidents and thereby lead to safer roads for our nation. Nevertheless, as long as large trucks operate over our nation's roadways, there will be unfortunate trucking accidents.
If you or a member of your family has suffered serious injury or if you have lost a loved one as a result of a collision with a large truck, you may be the victim of an impaired or negligent truck driver. It is important that you speak with an attorney who knows how to hold trucking companies accountable for the serious injuries and deaths resulting from trucking operations.
Article provided by Tinsman & Sciano, Inc.
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