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Could New Federal Regulations Help Prevent Alabama Truck Wrecks?

Red tractor-trailer speeding down a highway during sunset.

Alabama has the 2nd highest fatal truck accident rate in the US

Federal regulators are proposing updated rules to reduce truck accidents and improve overall roadway safety.

This round of proposed Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations seeks to address trucker health and automated emergency systems. But will they be enough to help Alabama - the state with the second-highest fatal truck accident rate in the U.S.?

It's hard to say. As the state's shipping and transportation industry grows, truck accidents have increased in Alabama. According to federal data, there were more than 140 truck accident deaths here in 2020.

The regs seem to be focused on giving truckers the technology and information to make better safety decisions. That could affect how truckers approach the top 5 causes of truck accidents in Alabama - improper lane changes, failure to yield the right of way, unobserved items and people, and tailgating.

Alabama truck accidents and injuries

Truck accidents tend to be severe, and victims are often left with critical, life-changing injuries such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord damage, fractured bones, and nerve damage. Truck accident victims also often face considerable medical expenses for treatment.

Are you the victim of an Alabama truck accident? Did it happen on one of the state's most heavily traveled truck routes: I-65, I-565, I-20, I-10, I-85, and I-459?

If you were injured or a loved one was killed in an Alabama truck accident, contact Dean Waite & Associates, LLC, for a free case consultation. We can explain how much your claim is worth and weigh your options for compensation.

Proposed FMCSA truck regulations and standards

Proposed changes publicized in FMCSA's fall "significant rulemaking report" include:

  • Medical Examiner's Handbook. MEH updates are proposed to improve physical health and capability requirements for truckers.
    • From the FMCSA: "Use data and resources more effectively to identify unfit motor carriers and to remove them from the nation's roadways ... [and implement] possible changes to the current three-tier safety fitness rating structure."
  • Automated driving systems. Safe introduction and inclusion of ADS in commercial vehicles.
    • From the FMCSA: "The proposed changes to [commercial motorized vehicle] CMV operations, inspection, repair, and maintenance regulations prioritize safety and security, promote innovation, foster a consistent regulatory approach to ADS-equipped CMVs, and recognize the difference between human operators and ADS. "
  • Speed limiting technology and rules. Should trucks weighing more than 26,000 lbs. and equipped with electronic engine control units capable of limiting maximum speed be required to limit truck speed?
  • Automated emergency braking. Requiring or standardizing equipment performance for AEB systems in heavy trucks.
    • From the FMCSA: "The rulemaking is expected to propose performance standards and motor carrier maintenance requirements for AEB systems on heavy trucks and accompanying test procedures for measuring the performance of the AEB systems."
  • Broker and freight forwarder financial responsibility. Every four years or so, authorities are required to review and determine whether the current minimum financial responsibility and bond insurance requirements are adequate.

Other FMCSA proposals address trucks that routinely travel between the U.S. and Mexico, greater transparency of consumer complaints, trucker safety test updates, registration system enhancements, employment application requirements, and face mask protocols.

Serious and fatal Alabama truck accidents

If implemented, could the above regulations have prevented recent Alabama accidents? Or, at least, reduced their severity? For example, here are just some of the Alabama wrecks involving 18-wheelers, tract0r-trailers, and other big rigs that happened in October:

  • A fiery crash with an 18-wheeler on the Bayway, near the I-10 and Battleship Parkway intersection, caused a fuel leak and a large fire.
  • Also, on I-10 in Mobile, several crashes, including at least one that involved an 18-wheeler, closed traffic for hours between Rangeline Road and I-65.
  • A man was killed in a multi-vehicle crash in St. Clair County when a box truck allegedly crossed the I-59 median and collided with a tractor-trailer.

Help for injured truck accident victims

Alabama has the second-highest fatal truck accident rate in the U.S. For every 1 million residents, there are 26.01 truck accident-related deaths in the state. The national average fatal truck accident rate is around 13.5.

Dean Waite & Associates, LLC, has been fighting for years to get truck accident victims maximum compensation for their pain, injuries, and other losses. Our Mobile truck accident lawyers have recovered millions of dollars for people injured in truck accidents, as well as the families of fatal truck wreck victims.

If you were injured or a loved one died in an Alabama or Mississippi truck accident, contact us for a free case evaluation. At no cost to you, a member of our team can answer your truck accident-related legal questions, estimate the value of your claim, and help weigh your options. You should also know that if we don't win, you don't pay.

Do not delay. There is a hard legal deadline to file a claim or wrongful death lawsuit in Alabama. We are ready to hear from you any time, day or night. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation today.

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