Trucking Safety Standards Lower, Making the Road More Dangerous

Sep 01, 2016 Commercial Vehicle Accidents    Ohio Personal Injury    Traffic Accidents    Uncategorized

Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC

Few motor vehicle accidents are as horrific as those involving tractor-trailers. Weighing tens of thousands of pounds, semi-trucks can cause property damage, personal injury, and even fatalities. In Ohio, thousands of medium and heavy trucks are involved in crashes each year. Deaths and injuries resulting from these crashes are staggeringly high, with hundreds of people being incapacitated through injury and dozens more dying as a result of truck-related crashes.

At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, we’ve helped numerous families recover from the damage of an accident involving a tractor-trailer. We’ve fought insurance companies and built strong cases to ensure that our clients receive compensation for their pain. Our experienced Ohio personal injury attorneys know that motor vehicle accidents involving trucks should be preventable, which is why we’re alarmed to learn that Congress has been lowering trucking safety standards, not raising them, thereby making our roads less safe for everyone.

The Importance of Trucking Safety Standards

National trucking safety standards have been enacted to protect the safety of both truck drivers and other motorists. Mandatory rest breaks, limits on driving lengths, prohibitions on drugs and alcohol use, regular vehicle inspections, and strict weight limits all work in the service of trucking safety.

Many drivers, however, ignore trucking safety rules. Because truck drivers are compensated for the number of miles they drive and not for the number of hours they work, they are incentivized to drive far and fast. Driving under these conditions frequently leads to fatigue, which, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, contributes to at least 30 percent of tractor-trailer crashes. By skipping rest breaks, speeding, delaying repairs, and forgoing safety inspections in order to meet tight deadlines, drivers put everyone at risk.

Truck Accidents Up, Standards Down

Given how critical safety standards are to keeping roadways safe for everyone, it should be no surprise to learn that injuries from truck-related accidents have increased at the same time that safety standards have been lowered. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, injury crashes involving large trucks or buses increased over 38 percent between 2010 and 2014. That’s a jump of over 25,000 injury crashes nationwide.

What legislation might have had an impact on this rise? First, in 2013, truck lobbyists promoted a bill that was signed into law which blocked enhanced sleep apnea screening for truckers, a screening that might have kept drivers with sleep apnea off the road. Second, in 2016, another bill extended a suspension of sleep rules for drivers, thereby effectively permitting more drivers to operate tractor-trailers on less sleep. Third, also in 2016, yet another bill denied states the ability to decide on the lengths of double trailers and extended the previous sleep rule suspension.

Trucking lobbyists advanced all of these bills and continue to lobby for lower trucking standards. They have lobbied for allowing teens to drive semi-trucks, permitting larger, longer, and heavier trucks on the road, and relaxing many rules relating to the hours during which an operator can drive a tractor-trailer.

How the Experienced Ohio Truck Accident Lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick Can Help You

At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, we’ve helped numerous families recover from the catastrophic pain and suffering that results from a tractor-trailer accident. We’re alarmed that trucking companies and lobbyists are working to lower safety standards because we know strict safety standards are essential to keeping everyone safe. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a semi-truck or tractor-trailer, contact one of our skilled Ohio personal injury attorneys at 1-800-HURT-NOW today.