Semi-Truck Accidents Increasingly Common in Missouri

How new and proposed rules may decrease accidents.

According to a study conducted by the Missouri Department of Transportation in 2011, accidents involving commercial motor vehicles made up 9.2% off all traffic crashes in Missouri. The same study found that a commercial motor vehicle was involved in 15.2% of all traffic crashes that resulted in a fatality. During the year of the study, one person was killed or injured in an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle every 2.4 hours in Missouri.

Due to the high number of accidents involving tractor-trailers, lawmakers at both the State and Federal level are seeking to implement new safety measures. For example, in January of 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released a new rule regarding how drivers must keep track of the hours that they have driven. While drivers have been required to keep paper logs of their hours since 1938, safety advocates and other groups have long complained that it is too easy to modify these logs [in order to evade restrictions on hours. Under the new rule, which will fully go into effect by 2018, drivers will be required to log their hours using electronic devices that are harder to modify.

Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed new rules that would increase the amount of training needed to get a license to drive tractor-trailers. Under the proposal, drivers would need to receive a minimum of 30 hours of behind the wheel training, including 10 hours of driving on a practice range, in order to get a Class A commercial driver’s license.

It remains to be seen whether these proposals will reduce the number of semi-truck accidents. It is important to know what to do if you are involved in such an accident. Click here for advice on what to do following an accident.

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