Mandated rest breaks after 10 consecutive driving hours. Additional driving tests for Hazmat haulers. Physical exams and mandated drug testing. Specific rules for securing cargo.
These are all a part of countless rules passed through the years by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the federal agency in charge of regulating commercial motor vehicles drivers in order to mitigate trucking accidents.
There's an eagerly awaited rule that involves speed limiter devices that has continued to be delayed. But there's good news on the horizon.
Basics of the rule
The proposed rule would mandate the installation of devices referred to as governors that would detect how fast a commercial vehicle was going. It would apply specifically to trucks weighing over 27,000 pounds.
History of delay
The rule was first introduced and sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget, or OMB, in May of 2015 with a projected approval date of August 2015.
According to the Department of Transportation's monthly regulatory update, as of May 2016-almost a year after it was set for review-it was still postponed.
It's now August and the July regulatory report from the Department of Transportation indicates a projected publication date for "the summer."
Given that the month of August is almost half way over, roadway safety enthusiasts are hoping it will be soon.
The bad news
However, if the rule clears the OMB, it will still take time before it goes into effect. An opportunity for public review must be provided and then the rule must be reformatted before a final version is released.
And this worries safety advocates.
Stats on trucking accident deaths
Most recent data provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety from 2014 indicates that 68 percent of deaths involving large trucks were occupants of passenger vehicles. And this is no surprise. These trucks are no match for private cars that are much smaller and often weigh 30 times less than semis.
Given the continued pressure to deliver goods in a timely manner, some argue that this rule is vital to reducing unnecessary trucking accidents and deaths. Opponents, however, say that the economy is picking up and placing additional restrictions on the trucking industry could hinder recovery.
Help for victims
Fortunately, individuals and their loved ones injured in a motor vehicle accident involving an 18-wheeler or semi truck have options. Obtaining the assistance of an auto accident attorney who can offer advice on potential compensation available is advised.