Proper maintenance and inspections of commercial vehicles, including tractor trailers, are critical for the safety of the public.  And while it would seem that common sense would dictate that drivers and commercial carriers keep their vehicles in prime condition, as a trucking lawyer I see examples of poor maintenance all too frequently – often with catastrophic or even deadly results.

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For the first time, the federal administration has proposed a federal motor vehicle safety standard that would include the installation of electronic stability control systems on all commercial vehicles, including trucks and buses.

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Let’s say you are walking on the side of a road and you are hit and injured by a big rig as it barrels down the road.  Let’s also assume you own a car in NJ that is covered by a standard automobile insurance policy.  Who pays your medical bills?

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Last year, fatal crashes involving bus companies surged as intercity bus travel became the fastest-growing mode of commercial transportation in the United States.  In 2011, at least 28 people were tragically and senselessly killed in 8 fatal crashes.  According to a Bloomberg article, these frightening numbers include 3 fatal crashes that occurred in an 11 week period involving carriers operating out of, or carrying passengers between, Chinatown neighborhoods in East Coast cities.

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Recently, CNNMoney reported that there are currently as many as 200,000 job openings nationwide for long haul truckers.  It is anticipated that the number of open positions will increase with time, as the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicated that the trucking industry will add 310,000 jobs between 2010 and 2020 – an increase of 20% over the 1,500,000 truck drivers that are currently on the road.

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