It is a commonly accepted fact that semitrucks serve an important purpose in our society. The Department of Transportation notes that between 2012 and 2040, the number of freight-ton miles that are carried by trucks will increase by around 43 percent. This is a sign that the economy is improving and moving forward, but this increase might spell disaster for others on the roads.
Large trucks, which are those that weigh more than 10,000 pounds, are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This agency is tasked with making sure that these vehicles have appropriate safety standards and that those standards are complied with each time they are on the road.
Improvements in safety standards
Since the inception of the FMCSA, the safety standards for these trucks have been updated continually. As new technologies come out, their impact on truckers is considered. Some of these, such as electronic logs for hours of service, don't directly make people on the roads safer. Instead, they help the FMCSA employees determine whether truckers are complying with certain rules.
Even though there are often demands to keep adding more and more regulations after horrific trucking crashes, this is often a complex undertaking for the authorities. Every updated guideline can directly impact the profits of the trucking companies and truckers. They can also indirectly impact the cost of consumer goods due to the cost that companies have when they implement these upgraded standards.
State of the economy impacts safety
Despite these safety improvements, the number of people killed in accidents involving these vehicles rose from 2014 to 2015. This brings up another interesting point. In times of recession, there are fewer miles driven by truckers as the need for goods decreases. It is common for the number of accidents and fatalities to dip during these times. When the economy begins to bounce back, the number of miles put on these trucks increases which usually causes an increase in the number of accidents and fatalities.
For a person who is injured in a semitruck wreck, these regulations might not mean much. If the person opts to seek compensation, they can be a very important part of the case. In some instances, violations of the same regulations that occurred before the accident could show a pattern of willful neglect on the part of the trucker or trucking company.