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Examining priorities in trucking safety

Tennessee motorists may have heard that the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is concerned with the failure of regulators to act on many matters related to trucking safety in recent years. The board has stated its belief that changes are necessary in the coming year. In a recent news conference, the NTSB referenced the injury of comedian Tracy Morgan as it highlighted statistics that reflect a need for aggressive action.

Technology is highlighted as one of the areas for promoting a reduction in truck crashes. Sensors that could warn drivers of potential lane changes or collision risks could minimize the potential for accidents. Additional points of emphasis should include improved oversight of hour limits for drivers as well as more effective regulation of trucking entities that have reported high rates of accidents.

Statistically, the board notes a four-year trend of increasing numbers of fatalities connected with trucking accidents. From 2009 to 2013, the incidentshave increased by 17 percent. Fatigue was a concern in the Tracy Morgan situation, and the NTSB recommends more thorough screening for sleep disorders and other related conditions that could jeopardize motorists. Safety enforcement is also cited as a potential area that may be tied to problems with trucking accidents. Meanwhile, some regulations may have been weakened because of congressional efforts to promote further research of the effects of rush-hour driving on trucking incidents.

Although national efforts to tighten regulations may be important, those future actions do little to help a motorist who is currently suffering damages and injuries because of an accident involving a fatigued or otherwise negligent truck driver. A successful personal injury claim could assist in covering past, current and future medical expenses as well as providing compensation for other damages incurred.

Source: Bloomberg News, "Trucking Safety Should Be a Higher U.S. Priority, NTSB Says", Alan Levin, 01/13/2015

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