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Is Congress not doing enough to prevent trucking accidents?

The number of individuals expected to die in trucking accidents during the coming year exceeds the numbers of those who have died in commercial airline accidents during the past 45 years. According to a New York Times opinion piece, there is increased suspicion that the trucking industry is getting off too easily when accidents occur. And there are concerns that Congress is not creating the kinds of regulations that will help improve these circumstances.

Recently, Congress has made proposals allowing for truckers to work a maximum of 82 hours per week rather than 70 hours of work over an eight-day period. House members also apparently have discouraged the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from making investments in wireless technology used to monitor drivers and their trucks. Congress has shown a willingness to approve of heavier and longer trucks used upon the roads which will create dangers. And there has been discussion of reducing the minimum age of drivers who travel interstate from 21 to 18.

Truck crash fatalities rose 17 percent from 2009 until 2013. While deaths due to truck fatalities rose during these four consecutive years, car drivers, truck drivers and passengers are commonly the victims of such crashes.

This makes it clear that legislative efforts will probably not prevent a great many truck accidents from occurring. Also, it would be naïve to assume that the entire trucking industry will take the necessary safety steps by regulating itself. Truck drivers will often drive too fast, trucking companies will sometimes fail to adequately maintain vehicles driven upon the road, and employers will often ask truckers to handle longer and more rigorous shifts. It is for such reasons that personal injury attorneys assist victims in bringing lawsuits against truckers and trucking companies.

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