The spotlight is shining brightly on the problem of trucker fatigue, hours of service rules, and the cost of safety, as the Transportation Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Senate’s House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee discuss possible new federal trucking regulations.
New trucking regulation pros:
Traffic safety advocates and the Obama administration believe that a new rule that would limit truckers to 10 hours behind the wheel per day instead of 11 (and that would add mandatory 30-minute breaks every seven hours) could be good for travelers and the economy. Supporters believe that it would significantly cut the number of truck accident fatalities, add thousands of jobs to the trucking industry, and save the country up to a billion dollars in health care costs.
New trucking regulation cons:
However, the trucking industry says that the new regulations would cost companies around the country billions and slow commerce significantly. In addition, they have stated that they have successfully been reducing the truck accident rate in recent years. While the new hours of service rules could add more trucking jobs, truckers themselves could face thousands of dollars in pay cuts simply because they would not have as much time behind the wheel.
How much does a life cost?
Just this week, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration released shocking numbers: the rate of commercial truck accident fatalities across the country soared by 8.7 percent last year – even while overall traffic accident fatalities continued to sink. In fact, almost 4,000 people, truckers and passenger car occupants, were killed in tractor-trailer accidents in 2010. The question remains: are tighter regulations that cost money worth human lives? How much money, and how many lives?
If you have been injured in a Virginia truck accident – or if a loved one has been killed in a Virginia truck accident – you may wish to speak with an attorney about your legal options and your rights regarding compensation. Call the Hampton personal injury attorneys at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan today to schedule a meeting and find out more.