A new study released by the American Association for Justice has revealed that over 28,000 commercial motor carrier companies operating in the United States have violated at least one federal safety regulation. Potentially 200,000 trucks have been or currently are operating in violation of these safety laws.
The safety regulations put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are designed to reduce the number of deaths and serious personal injuries caused by tractor trailer crashes. These regulations include checks on driver competency, hours of service regulations, and regular mechanical inspections.
Some of the violations in the study include defective brakes and tires, excessive or dangerous shipping loads and drivers operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
As we’ve stated on this blog in the past, keeping a close watch on the motor carrier industry is important because of the risks involved. Large commercial shipping vehicles are simply more dangerous than smaller passenger cars. One statistic pointed out by the AAJ says that trucks account for only four percent of the traffic in the U.S., but are involved in 12 percent of traffic fatalities.
Another concern raised by the study is the level of insurance carried by these shipping companies. In the event of a catastrophic accident with a tractor trailer, the injured party might be in for years of expensive recovery and rehab. The minimum liability insurance required of trucking companies, which was set 29 years ago, may not be enough to compensate people for these medical expenses.
This last fact is why it’s so important to consult a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible if you or a loved one are involved in an accident with a tractor trailer. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to examine your case, find any federal violations that may have contributed to the accident, and fight for you to receive a damage award that will offset your medical expenses.