Trucking Industry’s Low Concern for Safety Rules

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A new survey reveals the true priorities of the trucking industry, and it’s not your safety.

The administration has blocked or repealed multiple federal truck safety regulations.  One such regulation was to equip big rigs with speed limiters.  At the same time, new federal data show that in 2016 – the latest year information was available – 35 percent of Missouri deaths in traffic crashes involved speeding drivers.

Speeding Truck Drivers

Tractor-trailer combinations weighing as much as 80,000 pounds driving faster than the highway speed limit take much longer to stop than passenger cars and the force they bring to collisions can be catastrophic. Yet, the American Trucking Associations, the trucking industry’s largest lobbying organization, successfully led the fight to mothball the speed limiter regulation.

A trucking trade magazine annually surveys trucking organizations about their economic outlooks.  It recently announced the findings of this year’s economic outlook study.  Reducing fatal truck crashes – or any topic relating to public safety – was nowhere to be found among the top published concerns.

The number one concern for trucking officials was finding enough drivers to meet current booming demand.  Today’s growing economy is good news for trucking companies.  The challenge is hiring enough qualified applicants for open driver positions.  The question remains: Will some negligent trucking companies hire questionable candidates to meet this challenge?

The second chief economic concern in the trucking industry survey: regulations.

Rising maintenance costs was the third leading economic interest in the trucking industry survey.  With increased need for trucks, will companies properly maintain their fleets or cut corners and put dangerous trucks on the roads in an effort to save money?

Improperly Maintained Trucks on the Road

There has been plenty of evidence of the latter, including the findings of last year’s Brake Safety Day, held by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.  On a single day last September it conducted about 7,700 safety inspections of trucks.  About 22 percent of the trucks were found with violations so serious they were pulled off the road on the spot.  The CVSA inspectors found 14 percent of the trucks had dangerously bad brakes.

That trucking officials are focused on their bottom lines is not surprising.  What is concerning is their seeming disregard for rules that may cost a few dollars but offer the sensible tradeoff of lives saved.

Dealing with trucking companies responsible for serious wrecks is never easy.  If you were seriously hurt or lost a loved one in a crash with a commercial truck, turn to an experienced truck accident attorney to protect your legal rights for fair and just compensation.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

Authored by Gray Ritter Graham, posted in Blog March 23, 2018


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