The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has just released its draft five-year strategic plan entitled, “Raising the Safety Bar,” and the agency is using the opportunity, according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, to present “a fresh and bold new view on issues critical to bus and truck safety.”
This incentive comes at a critical time and on the heels of several catastrophic tractor-trailer accidents across the country. Truck or bus accidents that were widely reported in the media include: a Canadian tour bus that was struck from behind by a tractor trailer, leaving the truck driver dead and 30 passengers injured; a truck-bus collision near New York City that killed 15 people; and a special needs bus that collided with a tractor trailer in Long Island killing one and injuring eight others.
With a goal to “reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large commercial trucks and interstate buses,” the FMCSA is taking a three-pronged approach, focusing on the following core principles:
- Raise the bar to enter the motor carrier industry;
- Maintain high safety standards to remain in the industry; and
- Remove high-risk carriers, drivers and service providers from operation.
Collisions involving tractor-trailers, semis, and other 18-wheelers are more likely to cause devastating injuries to the occupants of other cars or smaller trucks because of the sheer size and weight of the large trucks. Examples of catastrophic injuries include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, closed head injuries, paralysis, severe burns, severe internal injuries and loss of limbs. Medical costs related to these can be financially devastating to the victims.
The FMCSA acknowledges that even though there has been a reduction in crashes, injuries and fatalities over the past decade, “there is more to be done.” FMCSA statistics show that the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes from 1999 to 2009 has declined by 35 percent, and the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes has decreased by 48 percent. In the same year 3,215 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, which is a 21-percent decrease over 2008 and the largest annual decline on record. In Florida, there were 170 fatal accidents in 2009 involving large trucks.
At the Florida offices of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, we support the new trucking initiative and hope that the continued government efforts to manage and monitor the trucking industry will improve the safety of our Florida highways.
Choosing a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer does make a difference. Our law firm represents truck accident victims in Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Jupiter, Vero Beach and Palm Beach, and throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast.
Call 1-800-299-8878 to speak with a caring tractor-trailer accident attorney or fill out our online contact form.