Free Initial Consultation (212) 858-0503

Tap Here To Call Us

Authorities Cite Poor Oversight In Truck And Bus Accidents

January 23, 2014

As New York bus and truck accident attorneys, we have gone after truck and bus companies who follow unsafe oversight and practices. Unfortunately a bus or truck accident has a high probability of causing multiple injuries and fatalities. Last year twenty five truck and bus accident deaths were caused by just four accidents. In the last three years alone over one hundred truck and bus companies were shut down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for unsafe practices, which represents a dramatic increase from years prior.

Unfortunately the Federal Oversight agencies are dramatically understaffed with only 350 employees to inspect and oversee ten thousand bus companies and five hundred thousand commercial truck companies. Recent reviews of accidents found that the compliance review process had missed serious safety problems that had they been caught could have prevented the accidents. In another incident, it was found that even though a bus company repeatedly had numerous documented vehicle violations in roadside inspections, the most recent precrash compliance review of the carrier did not include any inspection of any vehicles, consequently maintenance defects including faulty brakes were overlooked and the bus was allowed to continue operating in an unsafe condition.So rather than prevent accidents, the burden falls on Westchester truck and bus fatality lawyers to try and get justice for the victims after the fact.

Common findings include commercial truck drivers speeding, working in excess of the mandatory limit of 70 hours in eight consecutive days. One of the major factors has been that foreign bus companies that enter the United States are not held to the same safety inspection and maintenance standards as United States truck companies. In fact,one National Transportation Safety Board post crash review determined that one bus operator had flouted virtually every commercial regulation. More specifically, the bus company had no safety plan and no written policies or procedures including no hiring procedures, no preventative maintenance program for its vehicles, no safety management review procedures for monitoring driver hours of service, and no in service training for its drivers. The in service hours maximum requirements are meant to prevent truck and bus driver fatigue. The preventative maintenance programs are designed to catch defective conditions prior to the bus or trucks from going onto the road with defective conditions which pose safety risks to the public. In fact, 49 CFR 396.3 (the Code of Federal Regulations) requires that bus and truck companies have a systematic method of conducting repairs, inspections and servicing their vehicles to keep them in a safe and operable condition. These safety evaluation failures have been found to be a contributing factor to the motor carrier crashes which were entirely preventable.

With these glaring inconsistent and lax oversight in safety practices, more bus and accident crashes will occur and the citizens of New York will continue to be at risk for serious personal injuries and even fatalities. Only with tighter oversight and more thorough oversight of safety programs will there be a serious reduction and prevention of truck accidents. Unfortunately as long as this lax oversight continues, there will be room for dishonest truck and bus companies to cheat the system, cut corners and push the limits thereby taking chances with the safety of their customers and the general public.

The Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph