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Commercial vehicle accident rates continue to rise - Part I

It can be truly discouraging when progress is not being made in regards to important issues. Americans expect our lawmakers, medical researchers, scientists, educators and a host of other professionals to make steady progress towards improving the common good. And perhaps there is no greater expectation of progress than that placed upon safety regulators. When ensuring the safety of the public is a safety agency’s primary task, Americans expect steady progress towards that goal.

Unfortunately, improving safety is not always a straightforward task. A host of factors complicate this mission, which is understandable given that American life itself tends to be uniquely complex. For example, the Department of Transportation and many of its sub-agencies are entrusted with ensuring that Americans remain safe while traveling the nation’s highways and surface streets. A myriad of factors complicate the department’s ability to make steady progress towards this goal.

For example, over the past several years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has made significant efforts to reduce the number of truck accidents that occur annually as a result of truck driver fatigue. After extensive research and analyzing feedback from safety experts and trucking industry professionals, the agency implemented a revised hours of service requirement specifically designed to reduce truck driver fatigue. However, a senator worked hard to have these efforts reversed and ultimately succeeded when she inserted rollback provisions into the latest federal budget.

This political maneuver is only one complicating factor in the drive towards steady progress in favor of greater road safety. Please check back soon as we will continue our discussion of this subject in our next blog post.

Source: Carrier Management, “Large-Truck Crash Deaths Increase for Fourth Year,” Dec. 24, 2014

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