Larger trucks. Heavier loads. Longer driver hours. These proposed changes will make our highways more dangerous. And, they are quietly working their way through Congress.
A recent Baltimore Sun article starts —
With the number of fatal accidents involving tractor-trailers on the rise, now would seem like the wrong time to consider relaxing truck safety rules in the United States. Yet that is exactly where Congress appears to be headed – and proponents are trying to accomplish this maneuver in an unusually stealthy manner.
Earlier this year I completed a trucking case where the company allowed its driver to stay on the road despite a long history of prior collisions. In another recent case, the driver had repeatedly been cited for dangerously overweight trucks. Why change the rules and make our highways even more dangerous? The truth — it’s a plan that puts profits over people. It’s a bad plan. That is why it’s being done quietly.
I’ve seen the results of long trucker hours and overloaded trucks firsthand — talking with families suffering from the personal injury or death of a loved one. Here are a few facts reported by the Baltimore Sun —
- The proposed rule would allow 82 hour work weeks for truck drivers.
- A truck driver survey revealed half of the drivers had actually fallen asleep while driving at least once during the prior year.
- Longer and heavier trucks have a worse safety record than standard single trailer trucks.
The terrible collision where an exhausted Walmart truck driver injured comedian Tracy Morgan received significant press attention. Yet, every day, Alabama families suffer from collisions caused by dangerous commercial trucks and reckless drivers. And, every highway driver has had to dodge a big eighteen wheeler barreling down the Interstate seemingly out of control and unwilling to drive at a safe speed. It’s wrong for Congress to consider putting us all at even greater risk of harm.