Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers: Proposed Legislation Targets Truck Safety
August 24, 2015
Accidents involving large trucks claim thousands of lives each year and leave many more injured. As a result, Congress is considering the Truck Safety Act. As proposed, the legislation would strengthen some regulations already on the books while introducing others which reflect not only advances in technology, but also changing economic times.
With regard to the latter, the Truck Safety Act calls for an increase in mandatory minimum insurance levels from $750,000 to $1.5 million. According to its sponsors, the mandatory minimum insurance requirements are outdated – having been in place for more than 30 years – and $750,000 no longer adequately compensates most victims. The Truck Safety Act also proposes vesting the Secretary of Transportation with the right to raise mandatory minimum insurance requirements in the future, in order to keep up with the pace of inflation.
The Truck Safety Act also contains bold initiatives relating to safety. Specifically, the legislation would require the use of crash warning and lane departure notification systems in all large trucks, regardless of their age. Although such systems have become more common in new large truck models, they are not currently mandated. Moreover, the Truck Safety Act calls for the implementation of speed limiting devices in all large trucks, a move that Booker maintains could save 1,000 lives each year or more.
In what is regarded as the most sweeping change for the commercial trucking industry; however, the Act proposes a new pay structure for large truck drivers. To date, standard practice has involved paying truck drivers per mile. Industry observers believe this has incentivized drivers to stay on the road longer than they should, leading to driver fatigue, a contributing factor in up to 40% of all large truck crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Truck Safety Act would instead mandate that truck drivers be paid hourly. Additionally, the Act has called for further study on the effect of commuting times for truck drivers, many of whom drive several hours to and from their truck depot each day.
Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger Closely Monitor the Trucking Industry
Although, the proposed legislation is a step in the right direction if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a large truck, contact Philadelphia truck accident lawyers at Galfand Berger. We will fight for your family, and get you the compensation you deserve. Call 800-222-8792 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. With offices in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.