3,675 people died in truck-related accidents in the United States in 2010. While other new traffic safety stats from 2010 are encouraging – although distracted driving remains a big problem – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports an increase of more than 8% in fatalities in truck-involved accidents.
A new bill has been introduced in the Senate that would enhance current safety rules for commercial vehicles (like trucks and buses) in the U.S. Officially known as The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act, the bill makes important improvements to federal truck and bus safety standards – and it gives FMCSA more power to remove unsafe drivers or carriers. One of the most important provisions reduces the number of hours truck drivers can drive in one day.
“ The simple truth is that the old rule is a serious safety concern for American drivers. As it stands, trucking companies have the ability to force their drivers to drive up to 11 hours in a 21 hour period. Additionally, the rule allows drivers to drive up to 88 hours in 8 days — that's more than two full work weeks in just over a week! Under the existing rules, truck companies can force their truck drivers to drive extremely long hours without time off to sleep.” – Representative Bruce Braley; see the full editorial here.
In addition to the operating hours restriction, the new legislation would include these stipulations:
The increase in fatalities in 2010 demonstrates the necessity of the new legislation for enhancing public safety. The proposed bill is currently under review, with a decision expected by the end of the year.
Learn more about trucking accidents at damorelaw.com.