At 53 feet long and weighing as much as 80,000 pounds, the sheer size and weight of semi-tractor trailers pose inherent risks to the other vehicles on the road. For that reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has spent more than 20 years developing trucking regulations to promote the safe transportation of goods. These important rules require higher safety standards for trucking companies and driver because of the size and weight of those big rigs. It makes sense that such a massive vehicle would be closely regulated and monitored given the potential for tragedy resulting from the unsafe operation or handling of a truck, its maintenance or its load.
Commercial truck drivers are trained on the FMCSA regulations. They are required to pass tests and certifications before being legally allowed to drive the big rigs. Trucking companies have a lengthy list of training, inspection and maintenance requirements in order to send their rigs onto the public roadways. Given the responsibility truck drivers and trucking companies have for the safe movement of those big trucks, it’s very important that there are strict guidelines in place to dictate the safe operation and maintenance of commercial trucks. Higher safety standards for trucking companies and truck drivers is very much in the interest of public safety.
Increasing Safety through Education and Legislation
As trucking lawyers, we have a number of avenues to push for higher safety standards for trucking companies and drivers. We join and support groups and organizations that promote trucking safety in a range of areas. At Whiting Law Group, we are proud to be active members of both the American Association for Justice’s Interstate Trucking Group and the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America (APITLA). Both organizations are committed to reducing the risk and dangers of the trucking industry through the dedicated pursuit of safety education and legislation.
While there are a number of legislative and national causes we’re working to support, there are two I want to flag up here:
- We consistently call for the dedication of more federal funding for enforcement agents to inspect the trucks while on the roadway.
- We are demanding an increase in insurance minimums for trucks that operate on public roadways; the current insurance levels have not been updated in over 30 years and often leave victims without adequate coverage of their medical bills and fair compensation for their loss.
The Power and Value of Litigation
There is another tool available to demand higher safety standards for trucking companies and lawyers: litigation. As lawyers, we work to hold negligent truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for their failure to follow the federal safety regulations. Making wrong-doers pay for their carelessness or selfish actions not only brings severe consequences for the immediate wrong-doers, but it also sends a message to the wider industry that such gross violations of the safety regulations will prove costly.
Yet, litigation is about much more than just obtaining financial compensation. In fact, final compensation is a poor replacement indeed for the loss of one’s father, mother, husband, wife or children. The primary aim of litigation against negligent wrong-doers is the pursuit of justice for the victims and their families. Holding the defendants to account, in a court of law, is a matter of great significance to victims and their families.
As a member of the National Advisory Board of APITLA, I have joined forces with other trucking lawyers to share resources, expertise and trucking experts to help victims obtain full justice against the truck company and driver who chose to ignore safety regulations – a choice which caused significant harm to the victims and their families.
A Personal Commitment to Higher Safety Standards for Trucking Companies
I have been representing victims of truck crashes for over 10 years now. I have seen too many families torn apart by death or permanent injury to sit back and allow these truck companies and drivers to choose to ignore safety regulations designed to prevent collisions for profit motivated reasons and lack of enforcement resources.
I have had enough and have committed myself to be the best trucking lawyer in the country so that truck companies and drivers either know they will be severely punished if they see me on the other side of a case or because of our expertise in holding them accountable when their choices to ignore these regulations leads to a tragic truck crash.
I have committed my practice to defend victims of trucking crashes and holding trucks accountable when they cause harm to others when it could have been avoided by a simple choice to follow the safety minded regulations designed to prevent such crashes.