Proposed Bills Could Affect Your Rights as a Victim of an Alaska Truck Accident

Truck accidents are unfortunately far too common in the US, and they lead to some of the most catastrophic injuries of all types of motor vehicles crashes. However, two bills recently introduced in Congress aim to alleviate the frequency of these incidents and provide additional protections for injured victims. Trucking industry publisher outlined the details of the proposed legislation, which involve higher insurance coverage and enhanced safety features for trucks and their operators.

The measures are still in committee, so it could be awhile before a vote. Still, even if passed, no statute can completely protect against crashes. You should consult with an Alaska truck accident attorney if you have been injured, but read on for some information about the proposed changes to trucking regulations.


Increase in Liability Insurance Coverage

Though the details depend on the size of the truck and what its hauling, the minimum amount of liability insurance mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is $750,000; this regulation was established more than 30 years ago. The new law would raise that amount to reflect the current rate of inflation, which the bill’s sponsors say should be around six and a half times more to account for higher medical costs as compared to the average for the mid-1980s. This could result in the new minimum insurance coverage to reach $4.8 million.


Some in the trucking industry and opponents of the bill adamantly argue against this massive increase. Still, the reality is that costs of treatment for truck accident injuries may far surpass those in passenger vehicle collisions, justifying the change. Medical bills can skyrocket for:

  • Traumatic brain injuries;
  • Paralysis and disability;
  • Spinal cord trauma;
  • Burn injuries;
  • Limb amputation; and,
  • Other catastrophic injuries.


Automatic Emergency Braking Systems

 The second of the two bills regarding the trucking industry would require all trucks to feature an automatic emergency braking system. The details have yet to be determined, as the language of the law directs the Secretary of Transportation to issue applicable standards for the systems. Generally, the intent is to reduce accidents, and the bill’s sponsors say this technology would achieve that goal.

There are two key points to note with respect to this measure:

  • An automatic emergency braking system could reduce the potential for truck collisions or lead to less severe crashes. The systems cannot completely prevent them.
  • A similar bill was introduced in both 2011 and 2015, but failed to pass. Proponents remain hopeful that this version of the law will receive enough votes to make the systems required.


Reach Out to an Alaska Truck Accident Lawyer About Your Rights

Hopefully, lawmakers will pass these two bills and provide additional legal protections for victims of truck crashes. For more information on your rights under current laws, please contact Power & Power Law in Anchorage, Alaska. We can set up a no-cost case evaluation to review your circumstances and determine the best strategy to proceed with your claim.