The way some truck drivers are compensated may be creating powerful incentives to engage in risky behavior. Federal regulations require that drivers obey certain hours-of-service restrictions designed to get them more rest. Drowsy driving accidents are a significant problem among commercial drivers and the regulations are designed to combat the problem. Unfortunately, there are ways around the hours-of-service restrictions if a driver is willing to take the risk. The way drivers are paid is enough to convince many to take the unsafe route.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun the process of establishing new rules about vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology. The NHTSA is looking to regulate the use of that technology to capitalize on the potential safety benefits of cars that "talk" to one another. The group has released a 34-page advanced notice. The notice asks for public input that will be reviewed before final recommendations are released. The final rules are expected to be released in 2016.
Kenneth R. Feinberg is the administrator of a compensation fund established by General Motors to address the faulty ignition switches in some of its vehicles. Those who suffered injuries or lost loved ones due to the defect can file a claim with the administrator seeking compensation. The administrator then determines what he considers appropriate compensation. If the claimant agrees to the compensation offered, he or she waives any right to sue GM based on the accident suffered.
Traffic fatalities have generally decreased as safety technology has improved over the years. The average car in 1982 was smaller and less powerful than the vehicles of today, but it was far more likely to be involved in a fatal crash. Over the past 17 years, only three have seen an increase in fatal accident percentages. The trucking industry has not had the same level of improvement.