Tour buses carry more than 750 million passengers each year, and big rigs and semi trucks carry millions of dollars of goods. But with deadly accidents and serious injuries still occurring on the highways, there is a greater need than ever for safety education and laws in these industries. Recently, the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) held the Truck & Bus Safety Forum to address safety issues concerning commercial vehicle travel.
The forum’s presentations “advocated a comprehensive approach to safety, involving a more robust system of carrier oversight, active management of driver fatigue, and adoption of safety management systems,” said Robert Sumwalt, board member of the NTSB.
Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is conducting studies designed to prevent truck rollovers and implement crash avoidance systems. Rollover and loss-of-control crashes account for a large percentage of all trucking accidents. Stability control systems could alleviate a minimum of 28 percent of rollovers and loss-of-control crashes, the NHTSA says. The NHTSA studies will also identify safety technologies that will warn drivers of impending collisions and automatically brake or slow the vehicle. The NHTSA also supports laws requiring lap and shoulder seatbelts in motorcoaches.
Many of the measures go along with the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Motorcoach Safety Plan, but implementing the actions feels painstakingly slow to some. “Even where the DOT has met certain target dates for some action items, such as initiating a rulemaking to require electronic on-board recorders on motorcoaches, it still has not completed these rulemakings, which further delays the implementation of important safety efforts,” said U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ).
The DOT will be conducting random inspections of motorcoaches this summer and is also asking Congress for zero tolerance policies to give DOT the authority to take dangerous bus drivers off the road. The DOT has also launched a new bus carrier information website so that riders can check a carrier’s safety history before travelling. It shows the carrier’s and drivers’ history of unsafe and fatigued driving, substance and alcohol violations, and vehicle maintenance records.
According to the NHTSA’s latest records, 3,436 fatalities were caused by large trucks and buses in 2009. As the government looks to create and enforce new regulations, many times legal action must be taken to help an individual or their families recover from a serious accident. In Illinois, Chicago truck accident lawyer Robert I. Briskman takes on insurance carriers and trucking companies to get clients the compensation they deserve. At Briskman Briskman and Greenberg, their team of Chicago truck accident attorneys have decades of experience determining fault and helping victims get back to as much of a normal life as possible. They handle accidents on highways such as the I-94 Tri-State Tollway, I-90 Kennedy Expressway, I-290 Eisenhower Expressway, and I-55 Stevenson Expressway.