Late last year, a horrific multiple-vehicle accident occurred along a Pennsylvanian highway east of Pittsburgh when a commercial tractor trailer barreled into the rear of a car that was stopped due to other truck accidents. The initial crash sent off a chain reaction that included eight cars and trucks, resulted in three deaths and eight injuries.
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) met recently to discuss their findings of this and other fatal truck accidents, along with three more recent fatal truck accidents involving commercial vehicles. The NTSB findings show that federal oversight of the commercial trucking and bus industries are flawed, leading to more truck accidents, more injuries, and more deaths.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the federal agency responsible for overseeing the commercial trucking industry. The agency employees more than 350 overseers responsible for inspecting the safety practices of more than half a million commercial trucking and bus companies across the United States.
When investigating fatal truck accidents like the ones described above, records indicate that the FMCSA had previously cited both the truck driver and his employer for work hour violations. In accordance with federal trucking safety laws, commercial truck drivers are allowed to work a total of 70 hours in eight days. In regards to the above accident, the truck driver in question worked more than eighty hours. Despite these and other violations, the trucking company and driver were allowed to remain in operation.
After conducting their investigations, the NTSB recommended federal regulators conduct more inspections and more frequent follow-ups at those commercial trucking and bus companies with previous violations.
Residents in Pennsylvania who have been adversely impacted by truck accidents may want to take legal action. A personal injury attorney, such as the esteemed lawyers at Goodrich and Geist, can assist in obtaining important safety and inspection records to help determine if violations exist. This information is crucial in helping those individuals injured in bus or truck accidents recover compensation related to their painful and debilitating injuries. If you have questions about truck accidents, call the Pennsylvania truck and car accidents lawyers at Goodrich and Geist today for a free consultation at 800-806-2456.