Washington County, PA- Over the past decade years, fatal traffic accidents involving passenger vehicles have been on the decline with a slight increase in 2013. But the same cannot be said of fatal commercial truck accidents which have been on the rise the past five years and things could get even worse now that Congress has given a big win to trucking companies at the cost of your safety.
The latest data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that there was a 4 percent increase in the fatal truck accidents between 2011 and 2012. There was a 3 percent increase in fatal truck accidents between 2010 and 2011. The modern trucking industry is much safer now than it was two or more decades ago, but the roads could soon become more dangerous now that Congress gave the trucking industry a number of wins at the cost of motorist safety.
Just hours before leaving for an 11-day recess, the Republican-controlled Senate passed a Transportation Bill with numerous riders which overturned a number of key safety regulations.
The most dangerous roll back is a proposal that will allow larger trucks on the road. FedEx lobbied lawmakers to allow twin 33-feet trailers on the road, despite that fact that these larger trucks are 15 percent more likely to be involved in a crash. (Current regulations allows twin 28-foot trailers on the road.) As the Trucking Safety Alliance noted in a press release that even many factions of the trucking industry, including owner operators, called on Congress to forbid twin 33s.
The Senate also included a rider which forbids the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from increasing the minimum amount of accident insurance a carrier or truck driver must have. Bear in mind that, despite the astronomical increase in medical care, property repair and other costs associated with a major truck accident, the minimum amount of insurance an operator or owner must carry hasn’t changed since the 80s. Advocates for truck accident victims argue that current insurance requirement are not nearly enough to cover the costs victims incur.
The Senate Bill also keeps the suspension of hour-of-service regulations in place. The FMCSA believes these regulations prevent fatigued driving accidents, but the trucking industry was able to convince lawmakers to suspend these rules until a study can be completed, according to Trucking Info.
Trucking Info reports that the President Obama has vowed to veto the bill if the House passes it.
Decisions to roll back these trucking safety measures shows that the trucking industry has far more influence on regulations than truck accident victims. The trucking industry has a louder voice in the legislative process, but when it comes to civil matters, the right truck accident attorney in Pennsylvania can make certain your voice is not drowned out.
If you have been in a major truck collision, USAttorneys can help you get in touch with a truck accident attorney in Washington County to help you with your injury or wrongful death claim. We suggest you contact attorney John Caputo to work on your injury or wrongful death claim. He has been advocating for truck accident victims for over three decades and will work hard for you and your loved one.