Changes to Regulations During COVID-19 Crisis Could Mean More Truck Accidents
As the impact of COVID-19 on the United States continues to get worse, one of the industries that are seeing major impacts is commercial trucking. The number of truck drivers in The United States – specifically, qualified drivers – has been going down for more than 20 years, and as the increase in demand for things like shipments of food, medical supplies, and more continues to go up, overworked truck drivers are spending more time behind the wheel than ever before.
On March 13, the Transportation Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a nationwide exemption that eliminated many of the longstanding restrictions on work hours for individual truckers. The FMCSA says truckers of essential goods are no longer prohibited from working more than 70 hours in an 8-day period, and they no longer need to take 30-minute breaks every 8 hours.
Increased Demand and Lack of Qualified Drivers Could Mean More Truck Accidents
Our society relies on truck drivers to see that the goods we need are transported across the country – especially with America’s love of online shopping through companies like Amazon and other online retailers.
But as the shortage of all truck drivers gets worse, we have already started to see an increase in truck accidents resulting in serious injuries and even death due to the lack of qualified truck drivers on the road.
Many of these less experienced truck drivers don’t have the skills and training needed to maneuver around car drivers who drive aggressively or recklessly. In addition, thanks to the high salaries and large sign-on bonuses many trucking companies offer new truck drivers, they may not actually be hiring properly trained drivers in the first place. And as transportation companies try to get as much as they can out of each truck, it’s likely we will start to see more accidents caused by overloaded tractor-trailers in the future.
Injured in a Semi-Truck Accident?
The first thing you need to realize is that an accident with a semi-truck or other large commercial vehicle is very different from an accident involving smaller passenger vehicles like cars and pickup trucks. This is because semi trucks are usually insured under one or more commercial policies that cover both the driver and the trucking company.
The FMCSA mandates that semi-trucks and large commercial vehicles have to be insured under their policies, which are much more comprehensive than personal car insurance policies. If you or a loved one was injured as a result of an accident with a semi-truck or other large commercial vehicle, Cesar Ornelas Law can help. Call or contact us to get a free consultation today.
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