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FMCSA proposes new rule to identify and halt the operations of unsafe carriers

During 2014 alone, the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration reports that a total 3,903 people died in crashes involving large commercial trucks. Weighing several tons more than the average personal vehicle and barreling down our nation's freeways at 70 MPH, it's no wonder that individuals who are involved in traffic accidents involving commercial trucks often suffer serious, debilitating and even fatal injuries.

Due to the significant public safety threat posed by unsafe trucks and truck drivers, the industry is highly regulated by the federal government. Among the rules and regulations imposed on the trucking industry by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are those related to a vehicle's size and weight, regular vehicle inspections and maintenance, hours of service limits for drivers and drunk and alcohol screening.

Just last week, the FMCSA took action to propose another rule that officials argue will "make it easier to find potentially unsafe trucking companies and order them off the road." As part of the proposed rule, the trucking fleets associated with trucks that are deemed unsafe based on highway inspections, can be declared unfit and have their operations halted in an effort to prevent future accidents.

According to FMCSA officials, trucking companies that were deemed unsafe via road-side safety tests "have crash rates of almost four times the national average." The agency is confident, therefore, that the newly proposed rule would help reduce the number of truck accidents and related injuries and deaths.

Albany area residents who have been injured in a truck-related accident can benefit from the advice and assistance of an attorney. A personal injury attorney who handles truck accident cases can fight to recover damages related to medical costs, lost wages and disabling injuries.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Federal Regulators to Toughen Truck Safety Rules," Loretta Chao, Jan. 15, 2016

Claims Journal, "Data Confirms Improved Trucking Industry Safety," American Trucking Associations, Jan. 19, 2016

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