FMCSA final rule focuses on preventing coercion of truck drivers

While it is possible for anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident to suffer serious injuries, this is even more likely when the occupant of a car is involved in a collision with a truck. The weight difference between most cars and semis is great and smaller vehicles—and those inside of them—often experience more destruction since the force of impact has so much less weight to absorb it. Because the damage can be so severe, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, makes rules designed to try to prevent such incidents from occurring in the first place.

Recently the FMCSA published a new final rule to help with this. The rule is designed to protect truck drivers from being coerced into violating safety rules. It does three main things to accomplish this. The first is that it creates procedures that bus drivers and commercial truck drivers can use to report what they believe to be incidents of coercion, to the agency. Second, it provides steps the FMCSA should take in response to such reports. Last, it outlines the penalties that could be assessed against the coercive party.

As a result of the rule, the FMCSA can take enforcement action against the following:

  • Motor carriers
  • Shippers
  • Receivers
  • Transportation intermediaries

It is too soon to know what the ultimate impact of the new rule will be upon the number of truck accidents that occur. Readers should be aware that if they are hurt in a crash involving a truck they may be able to recover damages. To secure them, negligence on the part of another party must be demonstrated.