Tractor-Trailer Crashes, what can be done to make 18-Wheelers Safer?

In our practice we have seen many catastrophic commercial trucking accidents. The causes vary from equipment problems to driver error, due to fatigue or even intoxication.  Eighteen- wheelers can cause so much harm that the focus on their safe operation is vitally important to decreasing wrongful deaths on our highways.

So what are the most important priorities to the government agencies that monitor such things?

Suprisingly the number one focus is on getting medically unqualified drivers off the road.  http://www.ntsb.gov/recs/mostwanted/medical_certification.htm.

It seems almost inconceivable that drivers with serious medical conditions routinely operate tractor-trailers but evidently this is the number one problem encountered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Worse still, it is apparently something of a point of contention between the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. In its so-called "wish list", for most wanted safety improvements, the NTSB lists "Prevent Medically Unqualified Drivers From Operating Commercial Vehicles'"  as a high priority objective.
Unfortunately, they also grade their fellow government agency as having an "unacceptable response".

Wow! The NTSB goes on to say :

"Based on its investigations of accidents involving drivers with serious medical conditions, the Safety Board has determined that serious flaws exist in the medical certification process for commercial vehicle drivers.  Flaws in the certification process can lead to increased highway fatalities and injuries for commercial vehicle drivers, their passengers, and the motoring public."

Next a discussion of the medical certification process.

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