FMCSA issues new trucking regulation rule, aims to increase safety

A new rule by the FMCSA allows for truckers to skip filing a report when an inspection of the vehicle finds no issues. This move is intended to safe time and allow drivers to focus instead on safety.

Accidents involving semi-trucks have recently been spotlighted by media outlets throughout the country. These accidents range from crashes involving Hollywood's elite to an entire sports team. A crash involving comedian Tracy Morgan, from 30 Rock and SNL, occurred while the comedian was traveling home after finishing a show. During the drive, traffic slowed for construction. A truck behind the comedian's limo van did not slow; instead an investigation revealed the truck driver was traveling 65 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone just before the collision. The accident severely injured the comedian and other passengers and led to the death of fellow comedian James McNair.

The second accident receiving a great deal of attention from the media involved a softball coach and 15 players from North Central Texas College. The interstate they were traveling on curved slightly, but an oncoming semi did not. The semi went over a grassy median at 72 miles per hour before striking the bus containing the softball team, killing four young women and injuring others.

These are just two examples of tragic crashes involving commercial trucks this past year. The United States Department of Transportation reports that there were 3,964 people killed in large-truck crashes in 2013 and 3,944 in 2012. This increase in the number of deaths related to truck accidents, though only 0.5 percent, has led to a call for increased safety measures.

More on the new rule

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, issued the final rule on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 that could help increase the safety of the nation's roadways. The rule officially rescinded the requirement that drivers of commercial motor vehicles submit a Driver-Vehicle Inspection Report, or DVIR, when the inspection finds that there are no defects or deficiencies. The rule is designed to fall in line with the President's January 2011 Regulatory Review and Reform initiative, working to remove any significant information collection burden as long as the removal does not negatively impact safety.

It is important to note that drivers of passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles are specifically exempted from this rule.

A recent article by Occupational Health and Safety Online claims the move helps remove unnecessary red tape and will translate in an estimated savings of $1.7 billion annually. The rule, according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, will allow commercial drivers to focus on safety instead of unnecessary paperwork.

Remedies available for victims

Unfortunately, even with this rule truck accidents will occur. Those who are injured in truck accidents are likely eligible to receive compensation to help cover the cost of rehabilitation and medical expenses as well as lost wages. Call an experienced truck injury attorney at Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C., to better understand your rights and responsibilities.

Keywords: Truck accidents