The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is continuing its campaign to prevent crashes by improving commercial truck safety. It recently issued a modification rule to allow voluntary placement of safety devices in the windshield area of cars and commercial vehicles. These safety systems are reputed to decrease driver errors and protect those on the road from catastrophic crashes and injuries. The FMCA has the authority to “regulate drivers, motor carriers, and vehicle equipment,” including regulatory power over commercial vehicle safety.

The new rule applies to devices such as lane departure warning systems, and collision warning systems. These devices are particularly helpful for long-haul commercial truck drivers who may be over-tired or stressed from corporate-driven goals to meet delivery commitments. The new technologies warn the drivers when they drift out of lanes or when they are about to crash into other vehicles or structures.

The motivation for the new rule rests on two things: 1) the availability of advanced traffic safety devices in the marketplace; and, 2) statistics showing commercial truck crashes are on the rise.  Some industry experts blame the increase in crashes on years of the FMCSA caving into the Commercial Trucking agenda which has relentlessly called for the loosening of traffic safety regulations.

Because use of the safety devices is voluntary, it remains to be seen how much the new rule will impact the incidence of commercial truck crashes. If the price is prohibitive, commercial companies that already have lax policies on truck repairs and driver safety mandates are unlikely to embrace the new technologies.

If you or anyone you know has been injured in a commercial truck crash you should seek out an experienced attorney to help you identify the cause of an accident and get assistance with healthcare coverage and long term assistance.