Most people have never experienced anything that even comes close to the level of restriction caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Now, it appears that the economic recovery is almost as remarkable. In fact, most of us are quite familiar with the news that the robust economy now faces labor shortages and supply chain disruptions.
One industry that is crucial to regaining normalcy is the transportation industry. In the United States, that includes trucking. While trucking has always been essential to the economy, the demands being placed on the industry during the recovery are extreme. According to Supply Chain, an industry publication, the American Trucking Association cites research predicting that, by 2022, trucking will account for 70 percent of freight tonnage being transported. Many predict that the amount of freight being transported will increase dramatically through 2022.
Of course, with so many semi-trucks on the road, safety will continue to be a critical issue. In this article, we will discuss some potential trucking safety issues to be addressed in 2022.
Why Does Congress Worry about Trucking Safety?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2018, large trucks were involved in 499,000 crashes that were reported to police. More than 4,400 of the crashes resulted in a fatality and approximately 107,000 involved personal injury. Obviously, safety for the motoring public is therefore a continuing concern. Below, we will address some safety concerns and steps being taken to promote safety.
Safety Issues for 2022
- Hours of Service Rules – Some lawmakers remain concerned that hours of service rules have been liberalized too much. They are directing FMCSA to compare safety data occurring after the new rules went into effect last year to safety data before the new rules took effect.
- Underride Guards – There is concern with fatalities occurring when vehicles strike the rear of trucks. As a result, NHTSA is being directed to work toward an update on the development and use of side and rear underride protection devices.
- Safety Study – The House Appropriations Committee has noted that it remains concerned by trends in trucking safety. The Committee previously funded a large truck crash study and wants an update on the progress.
- Driver Safety – The Secretary of the Department of Transportation has been directed to initiate rulemaking in 2022 concerning the procedures to be used to determine how a truck owner or operator is to demonstrate safety fitness.
- Automatic Emergency Braking – The Congressional Committee believes that research documents that automatic emergency braking systems in trucks would save lives. The committee also notes that research shows that the cost of such systems is reasonable. As a result, NHTSA is being directed to move “with all deliberate speed” to finalize a rule.
- Weight and Size of Trucks – Funds were previously appropriated to permit the study of the sizes and weight of trucks and how they affect driver safety and other issues. Lawmakers essentially want an update on the progress of the study.
While there are other issues being addressed, this provides a good overview of some of the topics being reviewed.
Call with Questions
Trucking safety is an important topic, and something that we are happy to see addressed by our lawmakers in Washington. Unfortunately, even while positive steps are being taken, people continue to be harmed at the hands of negligent truck drivers and negligent trucking companies.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a semi-truck or other vehicle, you will likely have questions. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield will be happy to answer them in a free consultation. Please give us a call. We work all over Oregon to ensure that injured victims receive the compensation to which they are entitled. We believe that the only way to make the roads safer is to hold negligent wrongdoers accountable for their actions.