Back in July, President Obama signed MAP-21 of “Move Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.” This was the bill that authorized more than $100 billion for transportation improvements over the next two fiscal years. This is the first long-term highway authorization act since 2005.
Our Fort Lauderdale trucking accident attorneys understand that there are quite a few safety improvements that the U.S. and the State of Florida need to help to reduce the number of these serious accidents. The initiatives that come along with MAP-21 include new databases for drug testing results, better driver’s education requirements, a review of minimum insurance levels and more efficient electronic logging of drive time.
“These rules, along with the new drug and alcohol database, will go a long way towards reducing truck/car fatalities in America,” said Steve Owings with RoadSafe America.
RoadSafe America celebrated its 200th donor in September, but there’s still a long way to go. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), there are close to 4,000 people who are killed in traffic accidents with commercial trucks every year. In addition to these fatalities, there were close to 100,000 people injured. This year’s MAP-21 is headed in the right direction, but it’s not going to satisfy safety advocates.
Adaptive Cruise Control: This system should be implemented on all trucks. What it does is slows a truck as it approaches heavy and congested traffic.
Hair Follicle Testing: By using these kinds of drug tests, drivers would have a lot tougher time faking their drug tests. Pee tests aren’t enough!
Prescribed Narcotics: A system needs to be created that prohibits commercial drivers from obtaining exemptions for powerful narcotics. Driver’s abilities are altered all too often because of narcotics.
Sleep Disorder Screening: Sleep apnea and other sleep problems can have some serious effects on their safety and the safety of other motorists. Still, the federal government has yet to address this issue in any meaningful way.
Shipper & Receiver Liability: Freight company owners must share the responsibility to improve safety in the industry. All too often, these companies play the blame game when an accident happens.
Safe Pay: Drivers shouldn’t be paid by the mile. This takes a driver’s attention off of safety and on to the $$. Drivers should instead be paid by the hour.
Crash Avoidance: More attention needs to be placed on the next generation of safety equipment and technology for these drivers and for these vehicles.
With each and every improvement, we have a chance to save the lives of motorists. Over the last ten years, the number of commercial trucks has jumped by close to 5 million. Still, there’s a shortage on truckers available for the drive — forcing many of them to work under grueling conditions.
If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a trucking accident, contact our personal injury attorneys at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Two Interstate Highway Accidents Shutting Down All Lanes, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, July 19, 2012
New Regulations Aim to Reduce Pompano Beach Trucking Accidents, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, February 2, 2012