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Suggested FMCSA rule could help reduce truck crashes in US

Most people are aware of how dangerous a collision with a large commercial vehicle can be. Because of their size and weight, accidents typically do not end well for the smaller vehicle or its driver. Serious injuries and even death are common, which is all the more reason to find ways of preventing these accidents from happening in the first place.

As our more frequent blog readers know, truck crashes are caused by a myriad of reasons, from poor road conditions to driver negligence. But among the top reasons, are driver fatigue and poor vehicle maintenance. Though crashes caused by these factors are incredibly avoidable, the process of shutting down unsafe trucking companies is cumbersome and lengthy. Many unsafe trucks oftentimes remain on the road during this time too, leaving other drivers at great risk of a collision.

But according to recent reports, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is trying to change this with a new rule that would force unsafe companies off the roads sooner.

The existing process that leads to a possible shutdown of a company currently starts with highway violations, such as inaccurate driving logs or a poor vehicle maintenance record. These violations are noted during truck-stop inspections and flag a motor carrier for an audit, which may then lead to the shutdown of the company.

The new rule would allow federal auditors to shut down an unsafe trucking company immediately following a series of highway violations. As a recent Wall Street Journal article explains, this would allow FMCSA auditors to assess roughly 75,000 carriers a month versus the 15,000 they have been able to investigate each year in the past.

Whether the new rule passes and whether it will help reduce the number of truck collisions due to safety violations remains to be seen, though we're sure its passage would come as a welcomed relief to many residents here in New Jersey and across the nation.

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