As a Missouri semi truck accident attorney, I’ve been following the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s efforts to improve its oversight of the trucking industry and reduce fatalities and injuries on the highways. For the last 30 months, a field test has been in place here in Missouri, as well as in several other states, to see how the FMCSA’s new Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 program will affect truckers in real life. The field test revealed that under the new program, truckers will be interacting a lot more frequently with the FMCSA than they have in the past. This is good news for all motorists, since it may decrease the chances that they will be involved in deadly crashes with large trucks.
Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010 will replace the current SafeStat compliance review system later this year. The FMCSA found that there wasn’t enough personnel to conduct compliance reviews of motor carriers or drivers under the SafeStat program frequently enough to catch violators before their violations become serious enough to result in crashes on the highway. CSA 2010 uses different ways to rate and review carriers and will focus more on drivers, since the Large Truck Crash Causation Study indicated that more attention needed to be paid to drivers. CSA 2010 field tests measured the efficiency and effectiveness of the new safety management system and interventions of CSA 2010. Interventions range from warning letters to comprehensive on-site investigations. According to The Trucker, CSA 2010 resulted in decidedly more interventions than SafeStat, with warning letters more than quadrupling from an estimated 940 under SafeStat to 4232 under CSA 2010.
St. Louis semi trailer crash lawyers like me know that any accident involving a tractor-trailer and a car or motorcycle is likely to result in serious injuries or death for the occupants of the smaller vehicle. This is why I wholeheartedly welcome any improvement in highway safety for large trucks. CSA 2010 might be able to stop exhausted, unhealthy or unqualified drivers who shouldn’t be driving from continuing to pilot enormous, heavy trucks on highways shared with lightweight passenger cars. Unfortunately, there are a lot of truck drivers like this on the roads — with revoked or suspended drivers licenses, or distracted by cell phones or misplaced maps. It might also be able to lower the incidence of accidents caused by defective or poorly maintained vehicles, like trucks with loose wheels that fly off and hurt or kill people in other vehicles.
Obviously, truck drivers and the companies that employ them should take responsibility for driving safely and keeping their vehicles safely operable. Given their power to hurt others on the road, it’s a moral obligation as well as a legal one to do everything they can to make sure that a crash never happens. Unfortunately, in my work as a southern Illinois 18-wheeler crash attorney, I’ve come across a number of truckers and motor carriers who don’t take this obligation very seriously. But victims who are hurt in accidents caused by negligent truck drivers or trucking companies can fight back. When truckers flout laws and regulations meant to protect everyone’s safety, they can and should be held responsible for harm that they cause. Individuals and families devastated by financial and emotional losses from preventable accidents can require the negligent driver and his or her employer to pay compensation for their pain and suffering, past and future lost wages and medical costs, and replacement of their property, such as the family car, destroyed in the crash.
If you or a loved one have been hurt by a negligent semi truck driver, please contact Carey, Danis & Lowe for a free consultation about your situation. It’s important to speak with an attorney right away after an accident in order to make sure all relevant evidence from the crash is preserved, and to avoid threats to your legal rights. To set up a free consultation, please contact us online or call toll-free at 1-877-678-3400.