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The need for improved safety regulations for truckers

Accidents that made the national news, including the one in which four softball players died as well as the one in which Tracy Morgan was seriously injured, highlight the need for improvements in safety regulations for the commercial trucking industry in both South Carolina as well as nationally. Despite the fact that truck crash fatalities increased for the fourth year in a row and that almost 4,000 people are killed in truck collisions every year, regulators ignored nearly 100 recommendations for safety improvements in 2014.

The National Transportation Safety Boardis calling on Congress to act in 2015. From 2009 to 2013, fatalities in trucking collisions increased by 17 percent. Despite this increase, Congress weakened regulations in 2014 that were designed to prevent accidents caused by trucker fatigue.

In addition to proposing a most wanted list of stricter industry regulations, the NTSB is also calling for additional laws to be put in place in order to improve safety enforcement. According to its report, 20 percent of trucks that were subjected to inspections were found to have safety violations.

Commercial truck crashes claim the lives of thousands of people every year and injure hundreds of thousands more. It seems imperative that Congress act to tighten and enforce safety regulations, rather than weakening existing ones and ignoring recommendations. People who are in such accidents face the potential of having life-altering catastrophic injuries or dying. THose who have been victims of a truck accident caused by a distracted, fatigued or impaired truck driver may choose to file a personal injury civil lawsuit against both the truck driver and his or her employer. Damages could include the costs of medical care as well as compensation for lost wages.

Source: Bloomberg News, "Trucking Safety Should Be a Higher U.S. Priority, NTSB Says", Alan Levin, Jan. 13, 2015

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