Truck Safety Reforms: 10 Urgent Priorities

 One of the most pressing matters that Congress is currently considering is how to spend taxpayer dollars most effectively when it comes to the nation’s infrastructure. Federal lawmakers have long acknowledged that the nation’s infrastructure is in critical need of attention. Thankfully, the “back and forth” debate on this issue may be poised for resolution and swift implementation.

One of the most urgent infrastructure priorities of several of the nation’s travel-related governmental and independent agencies is truck-related safety. As a result, these agencies are pushing Congress to implement long-called-for recommendations concerning the safety of massive commercial trucks. Over the past decade, large truck crash fatality rates have skyrocketed. Similarly, non-fatal (but potentially serious, debilitating, and even catastrophic) injury rates tied to truck accidents have veered out of control as well. The National Transportation Safety Board, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are all working hard to educate lawmakers about the critical urgency with which trucking safety needs to be addressed in any infrastructure measures eventually passed in Congress.

The NTSB’s “Most Wanted” Safety Reforms List

Earlier this spring, the NTSB released its “Top 10 Most Wanted” list regarding travel safety reforms. Of these 10 urgent priorities, half of them are concerned with highway travel. Two priorities – eliminating distracted driving and preventing drug and alcohol impaired driving – are broad and apply to all motorized highway travelers. However, the remaining three priorities are targeted at heavy commercial trucks and buses. These specific concerns have long been voiced by the NTSB but may finally have an opportunity to be implemented as a result of the nation’s infrastructure push and the spike in truck-related deaths growing worse and worse as time moves on. These three specific priorities are:

  • Requiring collision avoidance and connected vehicle technologies in heavy vehicles (and eventually all vehicles)
  • Implementing a comprehensive strategy to eliminate speeding-related crashes (first by requiring heavy vehicles to have speed limiting technology installed)
  • Protecting vulnerable road users through a safe system approach

Legal Assistance Is Available

It is important for victims of truck accidents to understand that they have rights under the law. Too often, discussions about accident prevention fail to discuss opportunities for restitution in the event that an accident does occur. Until accidents are (largely) a problem that is no longer pressing, Americans need to understand what their rights as accident victims are and how to exercise these rights effectively. Thankfully, speaking with a personal injury lawyer can help to give accident victims clarity in this regard. Congress needs to work to prevent as many accidents as possible. However, when accidents do happen, it’s important for the victims of those accidents to understand that they have rights. Speaking with an experienced attorney can help accident victims become empowered to make informed choices about their options.