We have all been there. Cruising in the middle lane on the interstate with giant 18 wheelers flying by in the left lane or right lane – sometimes both! Passing with too narrow a margin or simply going too fast for cargo that size can be a frightening experience. Even when commercial vehicle accidents are spared, other drivers on the road can still be at risk.
Did you know seemingly minor driver oversights, like forgetting to signal when changing lanes, are amplified when that driver is behind the wheel of a large commercial vehicle carrying a heavy freight. They are risking potentially life threatening accidents and injuries to other passengers on the road as well. These are the kind of simple mistakes that come to mind when thinking about the causes of commercial vehicle accidents. As much as these accidents are avoidable, they are inevitable as well.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance established rules, regulations, and permitting for cargo and drivers across North America. They review stats and policies monthly and frequently update their safety requirements with the ever-changing demands of the industry. However, staying on top of the most current safety protocol is difficult for cargo companies and drivers. Regulations differ dramatically from state to state based on the type of terrain and weather in the region of origin. Louisiana’s causeway systems or two lane highways over the swamps and bayous may not be suitable for the weight requirements of a truck that is for for transport in Georgia.
The goal of these organizations is to reduce the number of commercial vehicle accidents on the highway. Evaluating and implementing enhancements to crash-worthiness standards are vital. It’s important to use technology to enforce these regulations to save more lives. This requires vigilance on and off the road as well as high tech surveillance.
The amount of overweight commercial vehicles on the highway is more than one would expect. The ever-changing regulations are to blame for this. Naturally, the heavier the vehicle the more damage, severity of injury and slimmer margin of error in the event of a minor traffic mistake. Although, there should be a noticeable decrease in commercial vehicle accidents as technology continues to advance.
Congress established a prohibition on roadside regulatory safety checks, unless there was a visible reason. Pulling over a bus without probable cause just to run a safety check, was deemed illegal. This allowed many operators that were in violation of several regulatory codes to avoid inspection. The ban put commercial drivers and other drivers on the road at risk. The CSVA supports the elimination of this prohibition, but it has been in the works for a long time. Being a conscious consumer and inquiring as to if your coach of choice undergoes routine safety checks to meet state regulations manually is the best way to stay aware of the ever changing regulations.
A little information goes a long way. If you are involved in a commercial vehicle accident where some of these regulations were not met, you may be entitled to more compensation for damages.