Safer Roads for Everyone May Mean Longer Transit Times
Every day at least 10 people die in fatal truck accidents according to iihs.org. Nearly a quarter of all accidents involving large trucks are due to excessive speed.
These facts have led the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to propose new regulations that will limit the speed of these big rigs. Their goal is to reduce the number of occurrences such as what happened in June 2015 outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
9 Vehicles, 18 Victims, One Reckless Driver
On June 22, 2015 a new truck driver entered the workforce; on June 25th his career would be over as a fiery crash would end the lives of 6 innocent victims and injure a dozen others.
To say the cause of the wreck was strictly speed related wouldn’t give the story justice. There were multiple factors that contributed to the devastating wreck. But if speeds were reduced, it is safe to say that there would be fewer victims in this situation.
After leaving Florida, the truck driver was heading north. Records indicate that he had been on the road for 50 hours, far longer than the 14 hours allowed by current truck driving regulations. Combine that apparent fatigue, speeds of 78 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone, and an intoxicated truck driver, and the disaster wasn’t a matter of “if”; it was “when”.
The truck plowed into a line of cars that were slowed in a construction zone. Ripping through them, 18 people were injured or killed before the vehicle finally stopped. Instantly fires were ignited, and other motorists were hurrying to remove the victims from the twisted remains of their vehicles.
Three years later, sentencing was complete. The truck driver was delivered a total of 82 years in prison for all of the accounts of aggravated assault, vehicular homicide, and more that he caused on that day.
This sad story isn’t a new or unique one. Every day this happens when trucks and passenger vehicles collide.
Multiple Proposed Speed Regulations
Currently there are no definitions on what maximum speed trucks will be able to go. Speculation puts them somewhere in the 60 – 68mph range. With today’s modern GPS monitoring, however, it wouldn’t be difficult to have the speed modified depending on location; faster when it’s wide open roads and slower approaching more heavily populated areas.
The rule would apply to vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or higher; these guidelines mean that it would include multi-passenger vehicles, buses, school buses, and semi-trucks.
However, there is a lot of push back on these ideas. The regulations have been proposed multiple times, and have yet to come to fruition. Critics cite lack of data showing slower speeds would lower fatal accident rates, as well as the speculation that the speed discrepancy would actually increase the number of accidents.
The latest bill was pushed through at the senate level, but never made it all the way through.
Herbert and Eberstein are Truck Accident Attorneys in Dallas, Texas
No matter the cause of the truck accident, the fact is that innocent people are injured and killed. For many, they never receive the full compensation that they deserve.
If you, or a loved one, have been involved in a truck accident, then you need to speak with Zach Herbert and Brian Eberstein right away to ensure everything is handled appropriately.
Let the experts handle the case, while you focus on healing.