As trucking collisions continue to happen in Homestead and across the country, many people ask why the numbers of these crashes is not dropping. Recently, one station, CNBC, aired an investigative report about the state of the trucking industry. According to the report and the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA), the number of fatal trucking accidents across the country increased close to 18% between 2009 and 2012, despite an increased focus on driving safety. According to investigative reporters, there are a few key reasons why big rig and tractor trailer collisions continue to occur:
1) Repeat offenders.
Federal safety rules and policies are meant to prevent traffic accidents in Hollywood and across the country, but enforcing those rules and getting unsafe trucks and drivers off the roads is more difficult than many realize. According to the CNBC investigation, about 20% of trucks inspected in 2012 were not safe to be on the roads due to out-of-service violations such as bad tires. That amounts to more than 2 million potential unsafe trucks on the roads. In addition, about 5% of drivers inspected had violations that could have prevented them from driving. That amounts to about 171,000 unsafe drivers on the roads.
2) Chameleon carriers.
So-called chameleon carriers are trucking companies that change their name in order to avoid lawsuits and legal battles caused by rule violations. According to the CNBC report, these companies often have unsafe drivers and policies. In fact, investigative reporters examined one chameleon carrier who had hired a driver who had run over a pedestrian and admitted to crystal meth. The company changed its name, had known safety issues, and continued to allow the unsafe driver on the road. The carrier had simply switched its name to prevent legal issues. Due to what the CNBC called under-regulation, it is difficult to crack down on these types of companies.
3) Lack of safety technology.
According to the CNBC report, only about 10% of trucks use safety technology, event when that technology is not very expensive. Technology such as automatic brake systems that help stop a truck if another vehicle is too close or lane departure warning systems are already available. Some, like driverless trucks, are in the not-too-distance future. In either case, reporters found that using the technology available could help reduce instances of truck crashes.
The report was interesting in that it found that many truck crashes are preventable. Many safety experts have already stated that many big rig and tractor trailer traffic accidents in Homestead and other cities are preventable, but truck industry experts sometimes point the blame on pure accident or on drivers of passenger cars. While obviously everyone has a part in reducing accidents on our roads, this latest report confirms that the trucking industry has the largest role to play in reducing crashes.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a trucking collision, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free case assessment. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience. Through our offices in Homestead, Hollywood, and Miami, we reach out to thousands of plaintiffs across South Florida. To schedule your free, no obligation case review, contact our law offices today.