Federal truck safety legislation falls short, stoking concern

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2021 | Personal Injury |

New Jersey drivers who take to the road are aware of and justifiably concerned about large trucks. This is true throughout the state and across the nation. The decade-long increase in fatalities after truck accidents has sparked calls for action to try and make the roads safer. Unfortunately, attempts to bolster safety have continually failed at the federal level. With that, drivers should still be cautious about the potential catalysts for a truck accident. Since people in passenger vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians have little chance to avoid major injury when they are in a crash with a truck, it is vital to know what options are available after an accident has happened.

Infrastructure bill does not include many truck safety initiatives

The recently agreed upon infrastructure legislation – touted for its bipartisanship – fails to include various truck safety advancements. Among the safety proposals were automated braking, systems to inform drivers when they were departing from their lanes, devices to keep drivers from going beyond a certain speed, ways to lower the number of drivers who got behind the wheel and drove while fatigued and underguards to stop smaller vehicles from getting caught underneath.

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety were hoping that the bill would include at least some of these provisions. However, it does not. This is a disappointment for people pushing for more safety because they lost loved ones in truck collisions. In 2019, trucks that weighed more than 10,000 pounds were involved in more than 5,000 fatalities. In 2010, there were just under 3,700 fatalities with these types of trucks. That is a rise of 36%. New Jersey itself has seen its fatality statistics grow in the past decade with a 50% increase in the state during that time-frame.

Personal injury after truck accidents can cause a litany of problems

It should come as no surprise that federal laws will remain static for truck safety. This is an issue that often falls on party lines and is based on lobbying efforts by truck companies to avoid cost increases for its fleets. People can try to take safety precautions when sharing the road with these large vehicles, but there are times when accidents happen and there is nothing that can be done to prevent them. Personal injury and death can result.

A person who is simply on the way to work or taking a trip could be confronted with exorbitant medical expenses, lost income and long-term challenges. Insurance companies are not on the victim’s side and it is imperative to know that from the outset. After a truck accident, a full investigation should be conducted to gather evidence and plan for a course of action. Having advice from the start can be crucial to be fully protected.