Deaths from crashes involving large trucks and buses rose in 2017, the latest year that figures are available. Speeding was among the major culprits of this increase in commercial vehicle accidents, according to the assistant administrator and chief safety officer of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Stretch limousines have been used as transportation for weddings or birthdays because these vehicles can hold more than dozen partiers and keep drunk drivers off the road. However, the absence of regulations have increased the odd of commercial vehicle accidents involving limousines.
Technology and changing consumer tastes have modernized transportation. However, these changes have also led to different and potentially more severe commercial vehicle accidents.
Motorists and passengers in Indiana and across the country rely on federal agencies to prevent commercial vehicle accidents. A federal National Transportation Safety Board report issued this month is unusual because the NTSB faulted another agency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, for taking inadequate measures to keep unsafe carriers from the highways.
Drivers of buses and other vehicles that transport passengers must be healthy and alert as a safety precaution. Otherwise, passengers and other motorists may become victims of deadly commercial vehicle accidents. In one case, the National Transportation Safety Board found that fatigued drivers were partially responsible for an accident that led to 13 fatalities and 31 injuries in a 2016 crash in California.
The national meth crisis has led to impaired driving and now plays a role in commercial vehicle accidents. Indiana State Police recently arrested a 46-year-old bus driver for reckless homicide and other charges because he was allegedly high on meth when his bus crashed into the back of a minivan. Three people were killed in the July 2017 accident.
There are many causes of commercial vehicle accidents, such as impaired or negligent drivers and defective equipment. Two years after a fatal van accident in Indiana, litigants are pursuing numerous claims and arguing that the cause of the accident was an unsafe vehicle or a drunk driver.
Prevention of commercial vehicle accidents in Indiana and across the United States has been a long-standing problem. Congress, however, must now address the new technological and legal challenges posed by self-driving commercial vehicles.