Conducting business during challenging times, mitigating risk, and planning for worst case scenarios is nothing new for the trucking industry. COVID-19, while unprecedented, is no different than many common daily challenges for trucking companies. To be successful, keep it simple. Know the rules, have a plan and execute the plan. While we provide some general guidance below, it's always best to consult an attorney about specific compliance questions.
We provide important legal developments, summaries and analyses impacting those involved in the trucking industry and the defense of trucking-related claims and lawsuits.
Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard Associate Larry Hall recently completed the Illinois Trucking Association’s (ITA) Leadership Training Program. The multi-session program focuses on developing a range of leadership skills, meetings with ITA leadership, industry specific and communications training, and eduction on the promotion of the trucking industry. Larry was one of 15 graduates of the class.
A recent article by Seth Clevenger published in Transport Topics explores ways executives can improve fleet safety. Several fleet executives spoke at the 2016 ALK Transportation Technology Summit about how their investments in technology have significantly increased safety and reduced claims costs at their companies. The installation of onboard video cameras, collision mitigation systems, departure warning systems, speed limiters and collision avoidance systems were all cited as way to improve fleet safety and decrease litigation costs.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Proposes Big Changes to Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Determinations
On January 15, 2016, the FMCA released a proposal to change the method for assigning motor carriers’ safety fitness determinations (SFD). Presently, a safety fitness determination (SFD) can only be made following an on-site compliance review. Compliance reviews are extremely labor intensive, and only a very small percentage of motor carriers can be evaluated every year. Thus, the information evaluated is merely a snapshot of the carriers’ overall safety performance, and information available on any particular motor carrier may be extremely outdated. Further, the current system relies on relatively limited roadside data.
NHTSA’s Proposal to Upgrade Rear Impact Crash Protection to Have a Significant Impact on Accident Litigation
Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking aimed at upgrading standards for underride protection in trailers and semi-trailers. NHTSA is looking to make the standards more stringent to improve underride protection in higher speed crashes. Although many trailers currently sold would be compatible with this new more stringent standard, the annual estimated incremental cost to ensure compliance of every trailer and semitrailer in the U.S. is $13 million dollars.