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Could Rolling Back Trucking Industry Regulations Lead to More Car Accidents?

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Truck on a Long Island highway.

The new administration has promised to cut regulations, and one industry that may benefit from this regulation rollback is the trucking industry.  Trucking advocacy groups have for some time, advocated for various regulations to be changed or repealed so that truck drivers could face fewer compliance burdens.  However, while reducing regulations in some areas and industries might make sense, there are some instances where regulations are rightly in place to save lives, prevent injuries, and to help stop dangerous behavior.  When it comes to the trucking industry, if too many trucking regulations are cut, the risk of accidents involving large trucks could increase significantly.

Regulatory Reform in the Trucking Industry May Increase Car Accidents

Many of the trucking industry’s trade groups are hopeful that President Trump’s administration will make changes to regulations that impact the trucking industry.  For example, one issue that some trade groups would like settled is the impending mandate to equip trucks with electronic logging devices.  These ELDs would help keep track of how much time a driver spends behind the wheel, making it more difficult for truck drivers to forge their paperwork and to drive beyond their drive-time limits.  Requiring ELDs could mean a reduction in the number of fatigued truck drivers making the roads safer for fellow travelers.  However, the trade groups are concerned with the privacy issues associated with ELDs and that ELDs should only be required for truckers who have a history of hours of service violations.

Another regulation that trucking trade groups are concerned about are proposed speed limiters that would be installed in a truck’s engine to limit their top speed.  Obviously, the speed limiters would prevent large trucks from traveling over the speed limit, which could help prevent car accidents involving speeding trucks.  But without these speed limiters, trucks are free to barrel down the highway at top speed.  The trucking industry would also like for Congress to pass legislation that would prohibit states from regulating meal and rest breaks for truck drivers. Meal and rest breaks are also important for preventing drowsy truckers from driving down the road.  Allowing states to create their own meal and rest break requirements could go a long way towards reducing the risk of car accidents.

While it remains to be seen what will happen with the trucking industry’s regulations, it’s important to know that if significant rollbacks do take place, the deregulation of the trucking industry could have a significant impact on traffic safety and the number of car accidents that involve large trucks.

Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer

If you have sustained injuries in an accident involving a large truck, be sure to contact an experienced New York Car Accident Lawyer right away.  At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, our skilled attorneys can provide you with dedicated representation in the event you are in a collision.  Call us today at (516) 358-6900 to find out how we can help you. Free consultations are available.

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