Contact
How can we help?
Attorney

Truck Safety May Wind Up Roadkill Under Federal Highway Funding Bill

Posted on - Monday, September 21, 2015 under Truck Accidents

Is Congress going to weaken truck safety rules and increase the already significant dangers that big rigs pose to drivers across the country? Under a proposed highway funding bill, that is very much a possibility.

The country’s highways, roads, and bridges are in need of crucial repairs and improvements. Much of the funding for these infrastructure improvements comes from the federal Highway Trust Fund. As with so many other issues, Congress has had a hard time reaching any kind of agreement on long-term solutions for the country’s highways and has passed piecemeal, short-term bills just to keep the fund from running out of money. The current three-month funding bill expires at the end of October.

A bill that would actually resolve highway funding issues for six years is currently working its way through Congress. However, that bill also contains a number of provisions that would undermine federal truck safety rules and take away the rights of states to have regulations more strict than the federal ones.

Three key aspects of these proposals, which are unsurprisingly backed by the American Trucking Association and other trucking industry lobbyists, include:

  • allowing trucking companies to put two 33-foot trailers behind one truck, even in states that have banned such trucks
  • reducing the current mandatory rest period for truck drivers
  • letting 18-year-olds to drive tractor-trailers

Loosening safety regulations for large trucks will make an already bad situation even worse. As pointed out in a recent New York Times editorial slamming these proposed changes:

  • more Americans will be killed in the U.S. by large trucks this year than have died in commercial airline accidents over the past 45 years
  • deaths in crashes involving big rigs rose 17 percent between 2009-2013
  • almost 4,000 people were killed in truck-involved crashes in 2013 alone
  • the economic cost of truck and bus crashes is $99 billion a year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

If you knew of a problem that killed 4,000 Americans and cost almost $100 billion every single year, passing or eliminating regulations that would only increase those numbers wouldn’t make much sense. It certainly doesn’t in the case of tractor-trailer safety.

If you have been hurt or a loved one has been killed in a trucking accident, the Georgia trucking accident lawyers at The Parian Law Firm are ready to help you get the compensation and justice you deserve.  Call us at (770) 727-5550 or chat live online with a member of our staff today.