Trucking Regulations Loosened

There are approximately 5,000 deaths annually in truck related accidents and approximately 114,000 injuries sustained in truck accidents. After reading these statistics and driving home from my office in St. Louis MO, west on Interstate 44 with a 65 foot tractor trailer in my rear view mirror, I was not thinking—I hope that driver has been driving for eleven hours today so that he can maximize the profits for his company. That is the effect of the Bush administration’s rejection of proposals to restrict the number of hours truckers could drive on the road. This loosening of regulations for truckers was preceded by guess what, lobbying efforts by the trucking industry.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration loosening standards has been done under the guise of fulfilling President Bush’s pledge to free the trucking industry from “cumbersome rules. I guess that these rules on how long a truck driver can drive are not really promulgated for safety of the truck driver and the cars he or she meets on the road, but are restrictions on free enterprise, at least from the view point of the current administration.
This relaxing of regulations is in spite of the fact that a person dies in the United States every 15 minutes in a trucking related accident. Over the last 6 years, the Federal Motor Carrier safety administration has with the support of the White House rejected proposals reduce the number of hours a truck driver can drive, rejected proposals to impose electronic monitoring to prevent widespread cheating on drivers logs and rejected calls for for more rigorous truck driver training.
As long as the government and trucking companies have this attitude, there will be work for people like me, a trial lawyer. There is nothing that convinces a jury to award large damages then evidence that the defendant put profits over safety.