New regulations needed to reduce truck accidents

As drivers around the country may know, roadway accidents involving a large truck have increased in the past nine years. Last year in New Jersey, an accident involving a well-known comedian allegedly was due to driver fatigue, according to police. Fatalities involving trucks have increased, and almost 4,000 individuals died nationwide in truck accidents in 2013 alone. The 3,964 deaths reflect a sizable increase over the five years leading up to 2013. In 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives weakened a rule that dealt with driver fatigue due to concerns over rush hour traffic. A study to evaluate this concern is under way, but at least 12 months may be needed for the study to be completed.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, current technology may be used to limit the number of accidents. The technology uses sensors that alert a truck driver when another vehicle makes abrupt lane changes. In addition, sensors warn truck drivers that they are in danger of striking a vehicle in front of them. The NTSB is urging that regulatory boards establish new safety rules.

When a fatal tractor-trailer accident occurs, liability depends on whether negligence was involved. A truck driver has the obligation to handle his or her vehicle in a way that takes its size, momentum and inability to handle sudden stops into consideration.

A driver who fails to exercise this duty of care may be held accountable for the injuries or death another individual suffered due to this negligence. In addition, the trucker's employer may be held responsible as well under the theory of vicarious liability. In the event of a fatal accident, an attorney may help the decedent's family pursue a wrongful death claim.

Source: Bloomberg News, "Trucking Safety Should Be a Higher U.S. Priority, NTSB Says", Alan Levin, 01/13/2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information