Munley News

Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer stresses importance of National Teen Driver Safety Awareness

teenThis week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and it’s a time to focus on the real dangers teens face when driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that almost half of the teen drivers involved in a crash die, yet a recent survey found that only 25% of parents have had a serious talk with their kids about the importance of driving safely.

The NHTSA stresses the following rules for teens in its “5 To Drive” campaign:
1. No cell phones while driving
2. No extra passengers
3. No speeding
4. No alcohol
5. No driving or riding without a seatbelt

The “5 to Drive” campaign was launched during Teen Driver Safety Week in 2013, and it addresses the five most dangerous and deadly behaviors for teen drivers. The idea behind the campaign is to give parents the words to use when they talk with their teens about driving.

Approximately 60% of the teens that died in crashes in 2012 were not wearing a seatbelt and 48% of those killed were speeding. Teens are involved in speeding-related crashes at a rate 60% higher than that of adults. As parents, we must set a good example for our children by always wearing a seatbelt and ensuring they understand the importance of wearing theirs. Seatbelts save lives. We must also follow posted speed limits and other rules of the road and set a good example in that regard as well.

In 2012, NHTSA statistics showed that 28% of teen drivers, age 15 to 20, who were killed in crashes, had been drinking. This is appalling, considering it is illegal for youth under 21 to purchase or drink alcohol.

Texting and driving has also become a serious problem, especially among teens. In 2012, of the teen drivers involved in distraction-related fatal crashes, cell phones distracted nearly 1 in 5. Extra passengers in the vehicle also cause distraction for teens, as the risk of accidents goes up with each additional passenger. Just one passenger raises a teen driver’s risk of a fatal crash by 44% Teens need to be focusing on the road, not on other passengers in their vehicle.

The National Safety Council warns parents that the most dangerous time of a teen driver’s life is the first 12 months after receiving a license. A teen drivers’ crash risk is three times that of a driver over 20.

How can you help your teen? Act as a role model and lead by example. According to the National Safety Council, a survey from The Allstate Foundation found that 80% of teens cite their parents as having the most influence over their driving habits. The NHTSA’s website www.safercar.gov/parents has detailed information and statistics about the five rules designed to help save the lives of teen drivers. Talk to your teen today.

If your teen has been the victim of a car crash, the personal injury lawyers at Munley Law can help. Munley Law specializes in fighting for victims of car, truck and bus accidents, and we can fight for you. For a free consultation, call Munley Law at 855-866-5529.

Many states concerned over guardrail-related deaths and amputations

Julia MunleyLast month, Missouri banned further installation of guardrail heads, joining Nevada who banned further purchases in January, followed by Massachusetts.

Lawsuits claim the guardrails were to blame for at least five deaths and many severe injuries, including loss of limbs, yet the Texas manufacturer, Trinity Industries, denies there is a problem.

The New York Times reported that although federal highway officials in Missouri had long insisted that the guardrails in that state were safe, apparently some guardrail heads had malfunctioned, turning the rails into spears when a car hit and injuring those inside, rather than cushioning the blow.

Although the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) continues to deny there’s a problem, the Daily Beast reported a 2012 email from a senior engineer at the FHA as saying that it’s “hard to ignore the fatal results” of the guardrails.

According to The New York Times, a spokesman for the FHA said the agency approved the guardrails in 2005, based on results of crash tests conducted by Trinity and a Texas A&M University laboratory. It reviewed those tests and others in 2012 and was still satisfied with them.

Bloomberg News reported that Trinity first gained federal approval for its ET-Plus end terminal in 2000. Lawsuits allege that the company changed the dimensions of the ET-Plus sometime between 2002 and 2005 without telling federal authorities. Apparently, Trinity modified an energy-absorbing end terminal, a steel mechanism that is mounted on the end of a guardrail. Instead of acting like a shock absorber, lawsuits claim that Trinity’s modified ET-Plus can lock up, behaving more like a giant spear.

The ET-Plus guardrail end terminal was the subject of an ABC News investigation in September. In an internal email obtained by ABC News, a company official calculated the change, a shortening a particular metal part from five inches to four, would save $2 per guardrail end terminal, or $50,000 a year.

Trinity goes to court this week to defend itself against accusations of a cover-up and fraud against the U.S. Government that the company’s accuser, Joshua Harman, says is linked to dozens of critical injuries and deaths.

Lawsuits filed against Trinity show destroyed vehicles with the guardrail pierced through the passenger cabin. Many of the drivers who survived have lost limbs from being pierced when the guardrail skewered the car. ABC News reported that there are half a million of the devices used on state highways today.

Harman is seeking damages on behalf of the government in order to recall or replace every modified ET-Plus currently in use, which could cost Trinity a reported $1 billion.
If you have been injured in an accident relating to a Trinity guardrail, the personal injury lawyers at Munley Law can help. We’ve represented thousands of accident victims and their families in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. Call Munley Law today for a free consultation. Call 855-866-5529

Dangerous weekend for motorists on I-81 with drowsy and wrong way driving

James Christopher MunleyA 36-year-old Plymouth man was killed when the Toyota sedan he was driving, collided with a tractor-trailer near the Blackman Street exit of I-81 around 3:45 a.m. on Saturday. The driver of the Toyota was travelling in the wrong direction at a high rate of speed when the accident occurred.

Wrong way driving often results in deadly, high-speed collisions. ABC News reported that wrong way driver accidents are responsible for 1,100 deaths per year. The news organization reported that intoxicated drivers and those over age 80 make up a large percentage of wrong way drivers and that most wrong way driving accidents occur at night or on the weekends. While cities and states need to work to improve signage on certain roadways, we must also stop drunk driving to help stop wrong way driving accidents.

Another accident occurred on I-81 in Mahanoy Township late Saturday morning when a 59-year-old woman told police she fell asleep at the wheel, which caused her vehicle to travel off the roadway, strike a barrier gate and then roll over, coming to rest on a grass shoulder.

Drowsy driving is becoming a factor in more accidents each day, and these accidents are often deadly, as seen in high-profile cases such as the Walmart truck accident that killed comedian James McNair and injured comedian Tracy Morgan. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes each year, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths.

It’s imperative that we all realize the dangers of drowsy driving and learn how to recognize the warning signs, such as yawning or blinking frequently, drifting from lanes, hitting rumble strips and missing exits. If you are becoming drowsy when driving, it’s important to pull over and rest before an accident occurs.

A third accident occurred late Sunday night on I-81 south, just north of the Main Avenue Exit in Scranton. A car and a tractor-trailer collided injuring one. The cause of the accident has not been released.

In 2012, there were 104,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks, an 18% increase over the previous year. Of these people injured, 73% were occupants of other vehicles. Large trucks were also more likely to be involved in a fatal multiple-vehicle crash as opposed to a fatal single-vehicle crash than were passenger vehicles.

The large size and weight of tractor-trailers, in addition to the added weight of cargo they may be hauling, can make them a real danger on the roadway. When large trucks are involved in a collision with a smaller vehicle, it often results in serious injuries or fatalities to the occupants of the smaller vehicles.

Passenger car drivers need to be sure to leave enough space between your vehicle and a large truck in front of you, stay alert and pay attention to the road at all times, and stay of the truck’s blind spots.

If you or a family member have been hurt in a crash, contact the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law. Our experienced attorneys can help you seek the compensation you deserve for medical care, loss of income, and pain and suffering. Visit our website at www.munley.com.

GM issued 75th recall of the year this week while ignition switch death toll rose to 24

new-gm-recallNot even the police are safe in General Motors cars. GM announced its 75th recall of 2014 earlier this week, recalling 7,600 Chevrolet Caprice police vehicles, because of a transmission issue. The Detroit News reported that the vehicles could roll away when the drivers believed they were in park. This recall marked GM’s seventh recall in nine days.

GMs recalls now total approximately 30 million vehicles. The most recent recall includes the Chevrolet Caprice police vehicles from the 2011-2013 model years. GM said that the cars, which were imported from Australia, could be shifted out of park without a foot on the brake pedal. The problem may also enable the driver to remove the ignition key without the transmission being in park. This could cause a potential roll away hazard and increasing the risk of injury to occupants exiting the vehicle or people walking nearby.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this is the second time in three days that GM has recalled certain Caprice models. GM recalled some versions of the 2011 and 2013 models for an ignition switch issue. A bumping of the ignition key could cause the switch to move from “on” to “accessory,” and disable the air bags.

Last week, GM recalled over 430,000 Cadillac SRX and Saab 9-4X SUVs. The company reported a rear suspension problem that could possibly cause a crash. Another recall last week included nearly 94,000 Chevrolet Spark mini cars for a hood problem, where the hoods can unexpectedly fly open. This included 2013 through 2015 model years. Apparently corrosion can cause the secondary hood latch striker to stick in the open position. If the primary latch is not engaged the hood can open unexpectedly. The vehicles were imported from South Korea.

General Motors also announced a temporary ban on the sale of 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup trucks, just two weeks after shipments of the new vehicles began. The trucks are being held back to fix a faulty air bag issue. Automotive News reported that in a note sent to dealers about the midsize pickups, GM said it notified the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA), reporting that the pickups’ driver-side airbag connections “were wired incorrectly during the manufacturing process,” which could disrupt their deployment. GM said this condition would prevent the driver-side airbags from functioning as designed and may adversely affect the crash performance of the driver-side airbags.

With the NHTSA and other safety groups keeping a close eye on GM, the company has pledged to take quicker action to spot and react to problems in the aftermath of its failure to recall 2.6 million cars with an ignition problem for over a decade. The number of approved death compensation claims related to a recall of the faulty GM ignition switch now stands at 24, up from 19 last month. The compensation fund will continue to accept claims through December 31.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident that was the result of a problem with a Chevy Cobalt or another recalled GM vehicle, contact the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law at 855-866-5529. The personal injury lawyers at Munley Law are experts on the GM recall case, as well as other car, truck and bus accidents.

As many take to Pennsylvania roads to view fall foliage, the dangers of collision between motorcycles and cars increase

James Christopher MunleyMotorcycle accidents can be traumatic and tragic events. Due to their lack of bodily protection, motorcycle riders are much more vulnerable than other motorists to suffer more severe injuries and deaths when accidents occur. This time of year, as drivers are viewing the beauty of the fall colors around them, they may not be paying as much attention as they should to the road.

Motorcycle fatalities rose for the third consecutive year in 2012, with 4,957 riders killed according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 2012, the most recent completed report, also shows that 93,000 motorcyclists were injured in crashes.

It has been reported that collisions with another vehicle account for about half of all motorcycle accidents. Information provided by the Insurance Information Institute stated that motorcyclists were about 26 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile travelled and five times more likely to be injured.

Collisions between a motorcycle and another vehicle often occur because the other driver of the other vehicle did not see the biker, and failed to properly yield to the motorcycle. Drivers of cars and trucks sharing the road with motorcycles need to remain alert, and take some extra time to check blind spots before merging or turning. They also need to be aware of their speed if a motorcycle is in the lane in front of them.

A motorcyclist must also be alert and completely aware of the traffic around them, as well as road conditions and objects on the road, such as gravel. Motorcyclists should watch for signs of a vehicle that may be turning ahead or merging. Motorcyclists must also follow all of the rules of the road, including posted speed limits and never drive while intoxicated.

Alcohol is a major factor in motorcycle accidents, with 27 percent of riders intoxicated at the time of a crash, according to the NHTSA. Motorcyclists killed in nighttime accidents are three times more likely than other drivers to have been intoxicated.

The NHTSA reported that speeding has also been a major factor. In 2012, 34 percent of all of the motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding, compared with 22 percent for drivers of passenger cars. Another common factor, almost one out of four motorcycle riders, or 24 percent, who were involved in fatal crashes were riding without a valid license.

Head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes, and the declining use of helmets may be partially to blame for the increase in injuries and deaths. According the NHTSA, helmet use dropped rom 66 percent in 2011 to 60 percent in 2012.

The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) found that in the 14 years from 1997 to 2011, motorcyclist fatalities more than doubled, while traffic fatalities dropped. The GHSA encourages states seeking to reduce motorcyclist fatalities to adopt strategies to increase helmet use, reduce alcohol impairment, reduce speeding, and ensure all motorcyclists are properly trained and licensed.

The personal injury lawyers at Munley Law encourage drivers of all vehicles to focus on being more aware of the road while driving and to share the road safely with those around them.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law can help. The attorneys at Munley Law have successfully represented motorcyclists who have been injured due to the negligence of others. For a free consultation, call Munley Law at 855-866-5529.

OSHA tightens standards on workplace injury reporting

Munley_0005_Construction accidentsLast month, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) strengthened the rules that required businesses to report serious workplace injuries and fatalities. Their goal is to uncover workplace hazards faster and fix problems sooner by requiring companies to report more on-the-job injuries to federal regulators.

According to OSHAs revised safety rule, effective January 1, 2015, companies will be required to report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and eye losses within 24 hours. Current laws only require employers to report in-patient hospitalizations if three or more employees are affected, and amputations and eye losses do not have to be reported. Remaining unchanged is the requirement that employers report work-related fatalities within eight hours.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary 2013 workplace fatality data found that 4,405 workers were killed on the job in the US in 2013. That translates to an average of 85 deaths per week or 12 deaths every day. Of that total, nearly 40% were transportation related. They BLS also reported that out of 3929 worker fatalities in private industries in 2013, 20.3% were in the construction industry, or one in five worker deaths last year.

CBS News reported Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez as stating, “we can and must do more to keep America’s workers safe and healthy. Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely preventable, and these new requirements will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employees accountable for preventing them.

The new rule maintains the current exemption for any employer with 10 or fewer workers from the requirement to routinely keep records of worker injuries and illnesses. These companies will still need to comply with these new OSHA regulations in case of death or serious injury.

Employers have many obligations under OSHA, including providing a safe environment for all employees. The Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law are hopeful that these new guidelines will help improve safety in the workplace and help protect workers from on-the-job dangers.

If you have been injured in an accident at work that has required medical care or hospitalization, and don’t know where to turn, the personal injury lawyers at Munley Law can help. Workers’ Compensation insurance exists specifically to cover workers’ medical expenses and reimburse for time off work, and we are experts in Workers’ Compensation laws. We can also determine if you have a claim against your place of employment for serious injuries received. For a free consultation, call Munley Law at 855-866-5529.

Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer warns trucking companies that encourage fatigued driving put lives in jeopardy

Daniel MunleyA recent report by ABC’s 20 20, focused on the dangers of forcing truck drivers to drive sleep deprived. ABC reported that big rigs are involved in 868 crashes every day in in the U.S. When truck drivers are overworked and sleep-deprived, the risk to themselves and the public can be deadly.

That National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2012, there were more than 330,000 large truck crashes resulting in 3921 deaths and 104,000 injuries. State troopers interviewed by ABC news said that truck crashes are catastrophic.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), more deaths in large truck accidents are passenger vehicle occupants, because trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars. Truck braking capability is also a factor in truck crashes, as a loaded tractor-trailer takes 20-40 percent farther than cars to stop.

The IIHS also reported that although drivers of large trucks are allowed by federal hours-of-service regulations to drive up to 11 hours at a stretch and up to 77 hours over a seven-day period, surveys indicate that many drivers violate the regulations and work longer than permitted.

20 20 found that to be true, reporting that tight deadlines can mean more hours on the road with fewer chances to rest. Because drivers are only paid when they are driving, many resort to falsifying logbooks so they can stay on the road.

The 20 20 investigation focused on one driver who was having trouble staying awake while hauling tomatoes on a 400-mile trip. He called his dispatcher and reported that he was tired and couldn’t continue to drive. The response of the dispatcher, caught on tape, was appalling. He told the driver to drink some coffee and to walk around the truck, which the driver had already tried. He passed him along to another dispatcher who again told him to get some coffee. The truck driver expressed again how tired he was and that he was afraid he might hurt someone if he drove in this condition. The dispatcher made it clear that he did not care; he just wanted the merchandise to be delivered on time. He also threatened the driver’s pay. After a long battle, and the driver refusing to drive, the dispatcher finally sent another driver to relieve him. The truck driver told ABC that this is the kind of treatment that drivers have been putting up with for so long, because their jobs are on the line.

After hearing the tape, the head of the American Trucking Associations, Bill Graves, who was also interviewed by 20 20, said that “There’s just too much at stake when you have a commercial vehicle with some sort of payload going down the nation’s highways with a fatigued driver.”

The American Trucking Associations reported that nearly 70% of the freight tonnage moved in the U.S. goes on trucks. To move 9.2 billion tons of freight annually requires 3 million heavy-duty trucks and over 3 million truck drivers. That’s a lot of trucks on the road every day.

A sleep-deprived trucker driving a 15-ton vehicle down a highway is a tragic accident waiting to happen as we see in the news every day. Fatigued driving is a leading cause of crashes and highway fatalities. The only safe driver is an alert driver.

If you have been injured in a truck accident, the personal injury lawyers at Munley Law can fight for you. We’ve represented thousands of victims in truck and car accidents throughout Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey and we can help you. Visit www.munley.com.

Michigan game evidence that not much has changed after concussion lawsuits

football_620x350We saw another example this weekend of how football coaches allow players to stay in the game with head injuries. Michigan coach Brady Hoke failed to remove sophomore quarterback Shane Morris after he received a crushing blow from a defensive end. Morris appeared dazed, stumbling after the hit. The coaches let him stay in the game for the next play, and then removed him, only to return him to the game later for another play.

As this played out on national TV, it raised questions to the necessity of a concussion protocol at the college level, that would bar teams from allowing players with head injuries, and concussion-like symptoms, to continue playing without further evaluation.

CBS Sports reported that in his postgame news conference Coach Hoke said, “I don’t know if he had a concussion or not, I don’t know that. Shane’s a pretty competitive, tough kid. And Shane wanted to be the quarterback, and so believe me, if he didn’t want to be he would’ve come to the sideline and stayed down.”

This type of mentality has gone on for too long, and has resulted in 5,000 former NFL players suing the league, alleging that it hid the dangers of concussions from them.
Many of the NFL players participating in this lawsuit revealed that they suffer or suffered from the devastating effects of multiple blows to the head which include: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and other serious side effects from concussions such as memory loss, dementia and the degenerative brain disease, ALS.

The NFL, which long disputed evidence that its players were suffering severe brain damage, stated in court documents that it expects nearly a third of retired players to develop long-term cognitive problems and that the conditions are likely to emerge at notably younger ages than the general population.

The New York Times reported that studies, including one conducted by scientists at the University of North Carolina and another at the University of Michigan, discovered higher rates of dementia and other cognitive decline in football players.

Concussions are not just a serious problem for professional athletes, but are prevalent in children of all ages who participate in any contact sport, from youth programs to high school and college. Studies suggest that repeated blows to the head and concussions in young children can cause significant harm as well. Because their brains are still developing and they have weaker necks than adults, they may be even more vulnerable to brain trauma. According to the website clearedtoplay.org, injuries associated with participation in sports and recreation activities account for 21% of all traumatic brain injuries among children in the United States.

While there is no standard of recovery time from a concussion, guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology find that athletes are at greatest risk of repeat injury in the first 10 days post-concussion. A 2013 study by researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital found that concussion symptoms lasted twice as long in patients with a history of previous concussion as those without such a history. All athletes who sustain a concussion-no matter how minor-should undergo an evaluation by a qualified healthcare provider before returning to play.

Changes need to be made across the board, from the NFL and College level through youth football. The NFL’s concussion protocol, which was instituted in 2009, bars players with significant signs of a concussion from returning to a game or a practice on the same day. NCAA guidelines say that the team medical director and primary athletics health care providers must have clear and transparent authority when caring for injured players. According to CBC News, the Chronical of Higher Education reported that 53 of 120 surveyed athletic trainers/staff members said they had felt pressure from football coaches to return a player faster than what was medically needed.

The dangers of concussion in sports is real, and although we may not see the effects of these brain injuries for years, we need to continue to address this problem and help keep the safety of athletes at all levels of play a top priority.

The personal injury lawyers at Munley Law have been fighting for clients for over five decades and they can fight for you. If you have been injured, contact the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law at 855-866-5529.

As families begin to settle with GM over crashes, is it too little too late?

Marion MunleyLast week, more than a dozen families were given a choice to accept a settlement or fight GM in a potentially lengthy court battle over deaths in crashes tied to faulty ignition switches. The families of two Wisconsin girls killed in the 2006 crash of Chevrolet Cobalt accepted offers from GM, dropping a lawsuit in favor the settlement.

The crash that killed 18-year-old Natasha Weigel and 15-year-old Amy Rademaker was one of the first blamed on the faulty switches. According to ABC News, a Wisconsin state trooper investigating the crash made the connection between the position of the ignition switch and the air bags not deploying. An investigation into GMs delay in handling the recall found that both GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) were aware of the trooper’s report, but largely ignored it.

Despite evidence from this crash and others that faulty ignition switches were causing engines to stall and air bags to be disabled, GM and federal regulators did nothing for years. Earlier this year, GM finally recalled 2.6 million vehicles that were equipped with the switches.

Not only had GM been aware of the ignition switch problem for more than a decade prior to issuing their recall, but investigations have shown that the NHTSA also received evidence of the safety issue as far back as 2007. That came when Wisconsin officials told the NHTSA of their findings in in the Chevrolet Cobalt crash that killed the two teenage girls. According to a congressional report, the NHTSA either overlooked or failed to understand the implications of the Wisconsin report and didn’t follow up properly.

An article in Time last week quoted David Friedman, acting head of the NHTSA, as stating “any life lost is one too many; anything that we can do to improve in a situation like this, we’ve got to do. We need a new normal when it comes to recalls. Dropping the ball will not be tolerated.”

The Associated Press reported that although GM admitted that people within the company knew for years about and failed to fix the defective switches, some victims’ families would have a difficult time winning against the automaker in court, because of GM’s 2009 bankruptcy. A bankruptcy judge ruled that GM is shielded from liability in crashes that occurred prior to July 2008. It is still unclear how many critical crash injuries and fatalities occurred prior to that time.

In a statement, Amy Rademaker’s mother, Margie Beskau, said “GM is hiding behind their bankruptcy, so it would make it very difficult for us to sue them, because Amy died before they filed that bankruptcy.”

Families of victims of crashes that happened after July 2008 may be willing to fight in court, because GM can be found liable for death or injury.

If you have been injured in a car accident that was the result of a faulty ignition switch with a Chevrolet Cobalt or another GM car, contact the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law at 855-866-5529. The personal injury lawyers at Munley Law are experts in the GM recall case, as well as car, truck and bus accidents. The Munley Law team will fight for you.

Safety group files suit for tougher trucker training laws

Daniel MunleySeveral groups, including the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH), and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters filed suit against the DOT and the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), seeking stiffer rules for training entry-level truck drivers.

Bloomberg reported that regulators have missed deadlines set by two laws passed by Congress since 1991. According to the article, the FMSCA issued a rule in 2004 that only requires 10 hours of classroom work on such topics as driver wellness and hours of service. The watchdog groups say that rule is inadequate, because it doesn’t require any training for entry-level drivers on how to operate commercial vehicles, according to the complaint.

In 2012, Congress passed a second law (the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” also known as MAP-21) requiring the DOT to issue the entry-level training rule, this time by Oct. 1, 2013. Congress specified that the rule had to include behind-the-wheel training.

According to TheTrucker.com, congress initially told the DOT to finish a rulemaking process on driver training by 1993, but the agency still has not done so. While the FMSCA is dragging its feet, people are dying in truck accidents. Deaths and injuries involving large trucks have been steadily rising. Fatalities were up 4 percent in 2012 and injuries were up 18 percent.

In a press release, the Teamsters Union said that 20 years, and two congressional mandates later, inexperienced truck drivers are still hit the road with no behind-the wheel training. Truck drivers can obtain a nationwide commercial driver’s license through their home state. That generally only requires a written test and brief drive around a closed area, similar to the process of getting a regular driver’s license.

The Teamsters release stated that the annual cost to society from large truck crashes is estimated to be more than $99 billion. Approximately 4,000 people die and nearly 100,000 more are injured annually in truck crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In a statement, Jim Hoffa, Teamsters general president, said, “Proper training is absolutely necessary for new drivers to operate their rigs safely. The agency is shirking its responsibility by not issuing this long-overdue rule.”

It’s imperative that truck drivers receive the proper training, including time behind the wheel, before they can safely take to the road. An untrained truck drive can cause a serious accident.

A crash involving a passenger car and a commercial truck often results in devastating injuries, resulting in medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Munley Law for a free consultation and to learn more about your rights. Choose carefully. Choose Munley Law.