Accidents involving large commercial trucks can be some of the most devastating cases that New Orleans personal injury attorneys deal with. These large vehicles are capable of causing catastrophic personal injuries. Earlier this month, the National Transportation Safety Board held a forum involving representatives of the trucking industry, government regulators and safety advocates to discuss truck safety.
Not surprisingly, there is a great deal of contention among these groups regarding what additional steps, if any, need to be taken to reduce the number of personal injury accidents involving commercial trucks. For example, because the number of fatal accidents involving large trucks has decreased from about 5,200 in 2005 to 3,200 in 2009, some members of the trucking industry argue that current regulations are working, and no additional steps need be taken. Many safety advocates, on the other hand, argue that this decrease in fatal accidents is related more to the poor economy and reduced traffic than the safety regulations.
The federal government is currently considering several new regulations that would impact the trucking industry. These include a proposal that all trucks and buses be equipped with devices that record how many hours a driver is behind the wheel. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, as much as third of all commercial motor vehicle accidents are related to driver fatigue.
Other regulatory changes being considered include 1) reducing the daily limit on the hours a truck driver may spend behind the wheel from 11 hours to 10 hours, 2) limiting the overall work day to 14 hours, and 3) requiring more time off when a driver has reached the weekly driving limit of 60 hours. These changes tend to be opposed by the trucking industry, which feels they would merely be imposing additional regulation without significantly impacting the number the personal injury accidents involving large trucks.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, we would be happy to help you. Please feel free to call us at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER with any questions.