Advocates for highway and auto safety and other safety groups seem to be on board with most of these changes.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the FMCSA terminology and safety programs, let me quickly try and boil it down:
FMCSA: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the government agency that’s responsible for the issuance, administration and enforcement safety regulations for commercial motor vehicles across the U.S.
I’ve been a truck accident lawyer for nearly 20 years. I’ve won an award as a “Leader in the Law” from Michigan Lawyers Weekly for my efforts to promote truck safety, when I was national president of the American Association for Justice Truck Accident Lawyers Litigation Group. And I have donated hundreds of hours talking about safety and preventing truck accidents with everyone from trucking companies to motor carrier regulators in Washington about the subject.
Onto the fourth tip from my series of 13 videos for truck accident attorneys, on handling truck lawsuits. The video below is from a presentation I did during the American Association for Justice Truck Accident Lawyers conference in New Orleans.
The takeaway from this video is that a truck accident attorney must show that the employer trucking company either did not properly investigate the truck driver’s safety history with his former employers, or that the motor carrier turned a blind eye to it.
When I was president of the American Association for Justice Truck Accident Litigation Group during the George W. Bush presidency, it was often difficult fighting for greater truck safety. Even with one in four trucks driving on our roads in a dangerous, out-of-service condition, I felt the federal government cared more about the political pressure coming from the trucking industry than about preventing truck accidents and saving lives.
According to published reports, in the last two years, the Obama Administration has issued as many imminent hazard orders placing unsafe bus and truck companies out of service as in the previous decade combined.
If a truck is considered “out of service,” it means that there are safety violations that are so dangerous, that the truck would need to be towed away for immediate repair if it were stopped by a police officer.
I’ve received several comments from angry truckers accusing me of being anti-trucker, and today I’d like to respond. As a truck accident attorney, I’ve spoken at several truck safety conferences, and I’ve been contacted at least a dozen times by good truckers who are being forced by the companies they work for to break safety rules and put people in danger.
I’m certainly not anti-trucker. What I am is pro-safety. The problem that these comments from concerned truckers fails to recognize is that when bad trucking companies break federal and state safety rules, they undermine the good truck companies in Michigan.