Safety regulators criticized for poor oversight of truck industry
When semi-trucks or buses collide with passenger motor vehicles in New Jersey, the results are typically tragic. In many cases, investigations in the aftermath of such collisions indicate that commercial vehicle companies or drivers were violating federal regulations leading up to the crash. In some cases, truck companies push their drivers to get in too many miles in too little time — which puts speeding and fatigued drivers on New Jersey roads. In other cases, companies fail to maintain their fleets.
These are just a couple of types of negligence that are known to result in terrible collisions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the trucking and bus industries in order to prevent such negligence, but the agency has recently come under fire for failing to keep commercial vehicle companies in line.
Yesterday, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that the FMSCA perform more thorough audits as well as better follow-up reviews of truck and bus companies, after finding that its oversight has failed to prevent crashes.
The NTSB found that the FMSCA missed or neglected to respond to critical red flags before four fatal crashes within the last year.
One of those cases involved a truck driver who was speeding, while using cruise control, when he slammed into eight vehicles that were slowing down due to an accident.
Two people were killed and six others suffered injuries in the truck accident.
It was later determined that the truck driver had put in well over the legal limit of driving hours that week. Before the crash, the FMCSA was aware that the driver had a record of hours violations and that the truck company had a record of scheduling violations.
All too often, truckers and truck companies neglect safety regulations even though the stakes are very high. It is very important for truckers and truck companies to be held accountable for violating FMCSA regulations, and for victims to obtain compensation after they are involved in truck accidents.