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The New Federal Rule That Could Reduce Truck Accidents Nationwide

In Tennessee alone, hundreds of truck accidents happen every year, leaving victims and their families asking one important question: could it have been prevented? In most cases, the answer is yes, because negligence is oftentimes a factor.

From driving while fatigued to talking on a cellphone, failing to maintain a safe driving distance to improperly maintaining a vehicle, there are a number of negligent acts that are primary causes in most truck crashes in our state and throughout the nation. With the help of a new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rule though, the risk of colliding with one of these dangerous drivers could become less and less likely with each passing year.

That’s because the FMCSA has introduced a new rule that will make it possible to pull unsafe truck drivers off the roads as well as the authority to shutdown careless trucking companies. Under existing rules, shutting down a trucking company requires an extensive audit that oftentimes takes several days to complete. The new rule would allow the federal safety agency to bypass the auditing process, instead allowing it to base a shutdown decision on highway violations collected during routine truck inspections.

Though some in the trucking industry worry that the violations recorded at road-side stops will give FMCSA agents a skewed perspective of a trucking company’s actual safety record, some outside of the trucking industry believe the new rule is exactly what drivers nationwide have been looking for in the way of preventative measures.

In years passed, more and more news reports have pointed to a growing number of serious safety violations that have been the cause of a number of truck crashes, including driver fatigue and poor vehicle maintenance. By utilizing the new rule, the FMCSA hopes to catch problem drivers and companies before their actions injure or kill an innocent person. By bypassing the auditing process, the FMCSA can do this faster as well as reduce the number of crashes caused each year in our country.

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

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