Truck accidents are common in Arizona. In fact, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation, of the over 127,000 Arizona motor vehicle accidents that occurred in 2018, over 5 percent of them involved a large commercial truck or a bus. That amounts to over 13,500 accidents. In total, over 3,300 people were injured, and 118 killed in Arizona truck accidents for the year of 2018.
Given the valid concern involving semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles, lawmakers are taking steps to make the roads safer for those sharing the road with these large vehicles. According to a recent trucking industry news report, lawmakers are considering four bills that would significantly impact the trucking industry.
Perhaps the most important bill, H.R. 1511/S. 665, is known as the Stop Underrides Act. An underride accident involves a large truck and a smaller car. The main characteristic of this type of accident is that the smaller car slides underneath the truck, causing the roof of the vehicle to get crushed. Due to the nature of these accidents, they often result in severe or fatal injuries. The Stop Underrides Act would require “the installation of front, side, and rear underride guards on all trailers with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) that exceeds 10,000 pounds.” An underride guard is a piece of steel that connects to the frame of the trailer and extends downward, preventing cars from sliding underneath the truck in the event of an accident. Currently, many trucks are required to have rear-underride guards installed; however, the trucking industry has been against additional requirements for front- and side-underride guards.
Another important proposed law is S. 2033, or the Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act of 2019. This Act would require all commercial motor vehicles over 26,000 pounds to be equipped with a speed limiter, which would be set to 65 miles per hour. Given that many Arizona trucking accidents involve speeding, or a truck driver’s inability to come to a complete stop in time, S. 2033 may reduce the number of truck accidents.
Finally, H.R. 3781, or the Insurance Act, would increase the minimum amount of required insurance for motor carriers from $750,000 to nearly $5 million. Because insurance companies defend most truck accidents, an increase in the amount of available coverage would be hugely beneficial to accident victims and their families, who often suffer devastating injuries after a crash.
Have You Been Involved in an Arizona Truck Accident?
If you or someone you love has recently been involved in an Arizona truck accident, contact the Saavedra Law Firm, PLC, for assistance. Attorney Freddy Saavedra is a dedicated Arizona personal injury lawyer with extensive experience handling all types of motor vehicle collisions, including trucking accidents. Attorney Saavedra puts this experience to use, aggressively negotiating with insurance companies in pursuit of full and fair settlement offers for his injured clients. He also provides free consultations to clients at his offices in Phoenix. To learn more, call 602-753-8917 to schedule your free consultation today. Calling is free, and you will not be charged for my services unless I can help you recover for your injuries.