Our Practice Areas

A look at truck safety and risks in Connecticut

Fairfield County accounted for more fatalities in truck accidents than any other county in Connecticut.

Motorists in Stamford, Connecticut know how difficult it can be to navigate busy roads with a large variety of vehicles. With everything from motorcycles to large commercial vehicles like tractor-trailers on the same road, there are many opportunities for serious accidents. Any accident can cause tragic results but the sheer size and weight of many large trucks make crashes involving them of extreme concern.

Along with size, factors like driver impairment or fatigue can exacerbate the risks to others. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is looking at how to address these two issues with the goal of improving safety for all.

Impairment among truckers

The Commercial Carrier Journal indicates that the FMCSA has been working on a new set of rules governing the pre-hire screening process for commercial drivers. This includes the requirement to pass substance testing in order to legally be allowed to be hired as a commercial driver.

Part of the new rules includes the development of a database that will collect and report information about drug and alcohol testing as well as violations. All employers must do a thorough database review of drivers' records before hiring them. They must also review records on a yearly basis after hiring drivers. This database is expected to be complete in the early part of 2016.

In the meantime, Bulk Transporter also notes that the FMCSA is extending its plans for randomly conducted substance testing among drivers.

Fatigue among drivers

Truck driver fatigue has long been a concern. The FMCSA attempted to change the break and rest requirements for truckers in 2013. However, the changes were met with opposition in the industry. Congress became involved and Supply Chain Digest reports that they placed a stay on the new rules. The FMCSA was instructed to collect further information about the change according to OverdriveOnline.com

How serious is the problem in Connecticut?

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that 276 people died in motor vehicle accidents in Connecticut in 2013. Of those, 19 people died in crashes involving large trucks.

Fairfield County was the site of the most number of truck-related deaths with four such fatalities. In New London, New Haven, Tolland and Hartford Counties, three people died each. Litchfield County was the location of two truck fatalities and Windham County saw one truck death.

People in Connecticut are clearly at risk for being involved in life-altering wrecks involving large trucks. After any accident, victims or family members are encouraged to contact an attorney promptly.