Thousands of motorists die each year in accidents caused by large trucks. Apparently this may not be a major concern to the trucking industry.
The American Transportation Research Institute recently released its annual list of the top 10 issues facing North America’s trucking industry. The poll included responses from 4,000 trucking industry representatives; about 70 percent trucking companies and 30 percent truck drivers. Safety was the top concern – but not what the industry can do to prevent fatal trucking accidents.
Stopping Tired Truck Drivers Not a Concern
The Hours of Service rule achieved the number one spot in this year’s trucking industry’s top 10 list of concerns. This new federal regulation places tighter restrictions on how many hours each week a driver can work, and mandates breaks from behind the wheel. It’s designed to keep tired truck drivers off the road. The trucking industry lobbied hard against the safety measure before it was finally enacted, and continues to be at odds with it.
Driver shortage and driver retention were the second and fourth top rated issues, while worries over two other safety regulations – the government’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program and a pending federal rule requiring truckers to use electronic devices to log their work schedules – finished third and fifth respectively. CSA is a wide ranging group of measures intended to reduce fatal accidents involving big rigs and other commercial vehicles.
Two issues that can be major causes of fatal trucking accidents finished at the bottom of the industry’s priorities. The health and wellness of truck drivers came in at number eight on the top 10 list, while distracted truck drivers finished at number 10.
Until public safety becomes a higher concern for the trucking industry, thousands annually will continue to die in preventable trucking accidents. Attorneys experienced in investigating fatal truck crashes can identify their causes and who is responsible, and represent the legal rights of the victims’ surviving families.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.