There are many federal, state, and local regulations to promote and enforce truck safety on highways and surface streets. Part of the reason that so much importance is placed upon truck safety is that commercial trucks such as semis and other large rigs are incredibly dangerous to smaller vehicles when not handled cautiously. Additionally, drivers of commercial trucks may neglect truck safety when under pressure to make a delivery on time, or when suffering from a lack of sleep. Disregard for truck safety can have devastating results-as a commercial truck can easily crush a passenger vehicle and kill or maim its occupants.
Truck Safety Regulations
Regulations pertaining to truck safety include specific speed limits, weight restrictions on the cargo of a truck, special licensing requirements for truck drivers, and vehicle maintenance requirements. Truck safety courses may be mandatory in some states for a driver to be licensed to operate a commercial vehicle. The trucking industry has been through some deregulations in recent years, leading to an increase in competition, and a corresponding rise in the number of commercial vehicles on the road, making truck safety more important than ever. In the past decade, there has been a 25 percent increase in the number of trucks on the road, creating additional hazards for other drivers.
The Federal Highway Administration recently filed reports showing that truck safety has been suffering and the ability to monitor truck drivers’ compliance with truck safety regulations has diminished as well. In random checks of commercial vehicles in 2000 and 2001, 24 percent were ordered off the road for truck safety violations. The same checks resulted in one out of every 12 drivers being taken off the road for violations of licensing and documentation. Drivers who are not properly licensed may not have been educated sufficiently about the importance of truck safety, and may not be aware, for instance, that it takes the average heavy-goods vehicle at least double and usually triple the amount of distance to stop as it takes a car.
Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer
Various groups have formed to monitor and encourage truck safety, pressuring Congress and regulatory agencies to make truck safety a top priority. In the meantime, people in passenger vehicles continue to be placed at risk when they share the highways with commercial vehicles. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a commercial truck and a violation of truck safety regulations occurred, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation for any injuries, damages, or losses. A truck accident attorney who has a familiarity with truck safety issues will be able to help you determine whether or not you have a potential case.