Cargo-carrying truck accidents and possible new regulations

Driving a cargo-carrying truck is much different than driving a regular-sized automobile. With a capacity to carry up to 80,000 pounds and 70 feet in length, it is no surprise that trucks are more difficult to manage.

Risky driving habits and safety concerns

Recent findings by a master student in civil engineering have attracted the interest of lawmakers to these hefty vehicles; looking at five years of statistics, he found that although these trucks only account for about three percent of vehicles on U.S. roads, they are tied to more severe crashes than accidents that do not involve trucks.

Further, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that one in every 10 crashes that involved a fatality also involved a large truck. The study by the civil engineer also listed several factors that make trucks more susceptible to accidents and discovered that approximately 73 percent of the accidents were related to the truck drivers' capabilities.

The main driver error was the amount of time cargo truck drivers gave to the completion of a particular task, including passing a vehicle or changing into another lane. Speeding was also a top reason for concern. In addition, an overwhelming majority of the crashes happened during the day and in locations with high speed limits.

In light of these studies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced its consideration of a new rule that would force trucks to have electronic stability systems. It is hoped that these systems will help prevent deaths that result from rollovers.

Manufacturers, on the other hand, do not like the proposed new regulation, saying that it would cost them approximately $1,160 a truck to comply. They also argue that the electronic stability systems offer more protection than needed and will not work for the various types of trucks on the market.

Course of action for the injured motorist

When people are injured in a truck accident as a result of the negligent conduct of the driver, the injured individuals may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit holding the negligent parties responsible for their actions. A party can be negligent for a number of reasons, including distracted driving, not following proper regulations and drinking and driving.

If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is advisable to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney will work with you to help you to sue for potential damages for medical expenses, missed time at work and pain and suffering.