NTSB Says Truck Safety Concerns in New Mexico and Across U.S Merit Audit of FMCSA Compliance Process

file5871343064709 morguefile username kconnors.jpgThe National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently called into question the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) oversight of interstate trucking and motor coach operations and recommended that the Department of Transportation perform an audit of the administration’s compliance process. According to the NTSB, a number of safety red flags were present and ignored by FMCSA officials immediately prior to four deadly motor coach and interstate truck accidents the board investigated within the last year. The four tragic incidents resulted in a combined total of 25 deaths and 83 injuries.

In addition to calling into question the thoroughness of FMCSA inspections, the NTSB recommended that efforts to implement an electronic logging system proposed as part of the nationwide Compliance, Safety, and Accountability program should be augmented. American Trucking Association (ATA) President and CEO Bill Graves stated he believes mandatory electronic logs would increase commercial driver compliance with federal law and increase roadway safety. He also said such a requirement would likely prevent truck drivers from successfully violating hours of service laws by simply carrying two log books.

ATA Chairman Phil Byrd added that the FMCSA should focus more attention on so-called problem motor carriers. NTSB Chairperson Deborah Hersman reportedly agrees. According to Hersman, the FMCSA does a good job of putting dangerous commercial trucking companies out of business, but the administration should work harder to cease unsafe motor carrier operations before a fatal accident takes place.

The FMCSA responded to NTSB criticism by stating the rate at which unsafe drivers and motor carriers were ordered off of the nation’s roadways has more than tripled over the course of the last three years. The administration said 47 bus and truck carriers were forced to cease operations as a result of an imminent hazard violation in 2012. In 2011, only 10 such orders were apparently issued. This year, at least 11 motor carrier companies reportedly received an imminent hazard violation and 26 were removed from service. An additional 25 motor coach companies purportedly had their authority to operate revoked following a FMCSA safety inspection. Still, the FMCSA stated the NTSB’s findings and recommendations will be thoroughly reviewed.

Federal trucking regulations, like hours in service limits for truck drivers, were established to protect everyone traveling on the many roadways in New Mexico and across the entire United States. Avoidable semi-truck accidents may be caused by a number of factors, including unsafe commercial vehicles. Individuals who were injured by a negligent tractor-trailer driver in our state may be entitled to compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, and damages related to any disability that resulted from the incident. In addition, certain family members of someone who died in a crash that was caused by a careless commercial truck driver may also be eligible to recover the costs associated with their loved one’s funeral expenses. If you were hurt in a wreck with an 18-wheeler, you should contact a skilled truck accident attorney to discuss your options for recovery.

Please contact the Fine Law Firm if you were harmed or a relative was killed in a New Mexico semi-truck collision. Our caring Rio Rancho truck accident lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience helping tractor-trailer accident victims across the State of New Mexico recover the financial compensation they deserve based on the severity of their injuries. To schedule a free, confidential case evaluation with a knowledgeable advocate, do not hesitate to call the Fine Law Firm at (505) 889-3463 or contact us through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Proposed Law Would Require Trucking Companies in New Mexico and Throughout the U.S. to Carry More Liability Insurance, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, October 21, 2013
Man Dies in Freak Bernalillo Semi-Truck Accident, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, October 20, 2013
Additional Resources:

NTSB blasts FMCSA for lax oversight, calls for audit of agency, by Avery Vise, Fleet Owner

Photo credit: kconnors, morgueFile