Deaths from trucking accidents across the U.S. have increased by nearly 4% in the last year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Some trucking associations are down playing the statistics surrounding truck crash deaths as misleading, arguing that they are based on too broad a definition of “commercial truck”. The trucking industry has also responded by stating the roads are safer than before as the trucking companies and drivers now comply with the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration (FMCSA) regulations. (The FMCSA is the government body responsible for regulating and licensing the commercial trucking industry.) Thirdly, the trucking industry has argued that there are many more trucks on the road these days, and that percentage-wise there are fewer truck-related deaths than 10 years ago. The trucking industry has suggested that this drop is a result of improved compliance with the FMCSA rules and regulations.
The FMCSA Responds
In response to this troubling increase in truck crash deaths, Marissa Padilla of the FMCSA, stated:
“FMCSA will continue driving towards zero deaths by implementing common sense initiatives like the updated hours of –service rules to reduce driver fatigue-a leading factor in large-truck crashes-and educating the public about how to share the road safely with commercial trucks and buses.”
While I agree that the FMSCA and the trucking industry as a whole has made significant strides in reducing the number of truck-related deaths and injuries, the number of such deaths on our roadways is still too high. That the number is climbing is certainly alarming. That rise is a clear sign that further work and enforcement in truly needed.
Working to Improve Safety and Reduce Truck Crash Deaths
The truck accident attorneys at Whiting Law Group are working hard to improve the safety of our roads through education, legislation and litigation. As a member of the National Advisory Board of APITLA and through serving on the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice, I am committed to encouraging and forcing, where necessary, the trucking industry to improve on its safety record.