The commercial trucking industry is a critical part of American commerce, transporting nearly a third of all consumer goods in the U.S. at some point in their journey from the production line to the shelf. Because commercial trucks are a constant presence on U.S. roadways and because they pose greater risks of accidents, injuries, and deaths when compared to standard passenger vehicles, the trucking industry is heavily regulated – and trucking operators must abide by numerous laws designed to keep the public safe.
Over the years, it has become common knowledge that trucking companies care more about profits than they do people – especially people who share the roads with their massive commercial vehicles. That’s predominately why the industry has backed legislation that makes it easier for them the make money, even when those changes come at the expense of public safety.
As of late, the most recent battle trucking operators, distributors, and others in commercial trucking face is a severe shortage of commercial truck drivers. In fact, representatives from major trucking organizations state that the industry would need as many as 900,000 drivers to keep up with demand, which has risen steadily since the economy has recovered. Today, there is just one truck driver for every dozen loads of cargo to be shipped – the lowest ratio the industry has seen since 2005.
In their efforts to address the issue, the trucking industry has proposed or backed some alarming legislation – laws that compromise public safety. These include:
- Lowering the federal age limit for interstate commercial drivers’ licenses from 21 to 18.
- Rolling back safety regulations that prohibit drivers from obtaining CDLs if they have certain medical conditions, or blocking proposed rules to regulate drivers with medical conditions like sleep apnea, a condition that significantly increases a driver’s risk of crashing.
- Increased commercial vehicle weight limits to make up for the deficit in available truckers. The trucking industry has proposed increases to upwards of 90,000 pounds.
- Blocking proposed laws to implement safety features, such as side underride guards, that have been proven to save lives, albeit with some initial costs to trucking operators.
These actions highlight the fact that trucking companies prioritize profits over public safety. A continued shortage of truck drivers, then, puts our roadways at risk not only when trucking companies choose to violate safety laws in order to maximize loads and profits, but also when they back and fund legislative initiatives that enable them to increase profits at the expense of safety. As many experts agree, the above efforts and others like it are counterintuitive to safety, and they serve only to represent just how far trucking companies will go to address the shortage of available drivers.
Truck Accidents & Victims’ Rights
While many advocates and safety regulators do their best to block unreasonable and unsafe legislative changes backed by the trucking industry, the industry has already succeeded in implementing certain changes that benefit their pocketbooks more than any person on our roadways. As such, it often becomes to the responsibility of victims, families, and personal injury lawyers to raise awareness by filing lawsuits in our civil justice system – lawsuits that highlight the danges of sidestepping regulations, committing violations, and passing laws that jeopardize the safety of the public.
At The Daspit Law Firm, our Houston personal injury lawyers have extensive experience protecting the rights of truck accident victims throughout Texas. We know how to investigate these claims, look for violations and acts of negligence, and help victims establish fault and liability. Our insight and background in insurance defense also enables us to fight effectively against trucking companies and insurance carriers that want only to minimize payouts to victims harmed by negligence.
If your or someone you love has been harmed in a preventable trucking wreck, do not delay in securing the support and representation you need to navigate the personal injury claim process. The Daspit Law Firm has a proven record protecting injured victims, including those who suffer catastrophic injuries, as well as families who lose loved ones in preventable wrecks and seek justice through wrongful death claims. Call (888) 273-1045 today to request a FREE consultation.