New law to improve truck safety introduced

Each year there are more than 200,000 passenger car/tractor-trailer collisions in the United States. In four out of every five such accidents in which there is a fatality, it is the passenger car occupant, not the truck driver, who dies. In light of statistics like these, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has introduced the Truck Safety Act.

The Truck Safety Act

The Truck Safety Act would increase the minimum amount of insurance trucks must carry from $750,000 to $1.5 million, call for the Secretary of Transportation to mandate truck drivers get paid for hours worked, and order the Department of Transportation (DOT) to finalize regulations regarding speed limiting devices and propose rules for crash avoidance systems such as forward collision warning and lane departure systems.

Booker, the ranking member on the Commerce Committee's Surface Transportation subpanel, said "[t]ruck drivers work extremely long days to deliver the goods we depend on and keep our economy moving, but too often this comes at the expense of their safety and the safety of other drivers," and that the bill "will protect all drivers and make our nation's highways safer."

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) supports the Act's call for swift rulemaking to implement speed limiting devices. The ATA has been petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for ten years to adopt rules regarding such devices. The FMCSA is responsible for overseeing the safety of commercial vehicles in interstate commerce, including regulations covering equipment, licensing, hours of service, vehicle inspections and maintenance. The NHTSA is the agency that sets the standards for new truck equipment.

What to do if you're in a tractor-trailer accident

If you've been involved in a semi-truck accident, it is critical to get in touch with a truck accident litigation attorney as soon as possible. The trucking company and its insurer will have people on the scene and conducting an investigation to protect their interests, so you will need someone looking out for your interests too.

One way to protect your interests is by preserving critical evidence. This evidence includes drivers' logs, road markings (skid marks and gouges in the pavement), debris fields, police markings, black box data and tracking device data. An attorney experienced in truck accident cases will have the knowledge and skills to preserve this critical information and request additional data as appropriate.

Contact Law & Moran today

Serious semi-truck accidents, resulting in catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, in Georgia most often occur on Interstate 75, Interstate 85, I-16 and the I-285 Beltway. If you have been injured in a truck accident anywhere in Georgia, contact Law & Moran today to schedule a initial consultation.