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Powerful Trucking Lobby Impedes Truck Safety Reforms

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A recent article in the New York Times, made a very interesting observation. The author stated that “more people will be killed in traffic accidents involving large trucks this year than have died in all of the domestic commercial airline crashes over the past 45 years.” Statistics that are this skewered are sure to spark ones interest as to exactly how are people being killed by 18-wheelers on our nation’s highways and how Congress is being manipulated by the trucking lobby to quell any chance we have at true highway safety reform.

Congress has done its best to roll back safety regulations ordered by federal regulators. For instance, Congress has been pushing to allow truck drivers to work 82 hours per every 8 days up from the current 70, even though it has been proven that driver fatigue is frequently cited as being the cause of tractor trailer accidents. Another way that Congress has stonewalled those seeking to improve truck safety is by lobbying the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from investing in wireless driver and vehicle monitoring safety technology. And finally, Congress has in spite of the public’s objection, sought to have the minimum age for interstate truck driver’s licensing lower to 18 from 21. All three items above are clearly concessions granted to the trucking industry because of their lobbying efforts.

Meanwhile, for the period 2009-2013

  • Deaths in truck-related crashes increased 17 percent
  • In 2013, 586 deaths were to the truck drivers themselves or their truck passengers
  • The CDC estimates that truck accidents cost the economy around $100 billion per year
  • The trucking industry has resisted implementing safety devices, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control in their own vehicles that could reduce the fatality rate

It seems as if the powerful trucking lobby in Washington is putting their industry’s profits above the safety of the general public and it using Congress as its tool to do so.

If you have been injured or have had a loved one killed in a collision with an 18-wheeler or any other motor vehicle and suspect negligence on the part of the driver or the company that owns the truck, please give our law firm a call. We have a team of South Florida personal injury attorneys standing by to assist you.

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