I’m a trucking safety lawyer in Atlanta, not a futurist or a psychic. However, I’m going to go out on a limb and post my top five predictions for motor carrier safety in 2010.
1. Accident and fatality rates in interstate commercial trucking will continue to decline.
2. In addition to a ban on text messaging by truck drivers while in motion, FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) will require an interlock between truck cab communication systems and truck transmission, so that drivers must stop the truck before typing a response.
3. FMCSA will require Electronic On Board Recorders (EOBR) for all new commercial road tractors, and retrofitting of existing units within 3 to 5 years.
4. The FMCSA will require seat belts and safety glass in new motor coaches, and may require retrofitting of existing motor coaches with seat belts within 3 to 5 years.
5. FMCSA’s new Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA 2010) program will make truck drivers more conscious of the need to maintain their own health in order to maintain a Commercial Driver’s License, thereby gradually increasing demand for truck stop chains to begin offering healthy food and exercise facilities.
Ken Shigley is a trucking safety trial attorney representing seriously injured people in tractor trailer, big rig, intermodal container freight, cement truck, dump truck and bus accidents statewide in Georgia. He served as chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Litigation Institute in 2005, is a national board member of the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice, and is on the National Advisory Board for the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America.
He has extensive experience representing parties in interstate trucking collision cases, and in the past two years has spoken at national interstate trucking litigation seminars in Chicago (trucking insurance), New Orleans (trial tactics and side underride issues), St. Louis (punitive damages), San Francisco (dealing with insolvent trucking companies), Atlanta (trucking insurance, closing argument), Nashville (use of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations), and Amelia Island (overview of trucking litigation).
A Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, he has been listed as a “Super Lawyer” (Atlanta Magazine), among the “Legal Elite” (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale). In addition to trucking litigation, he has broad experience in products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, spinal cord injury, brain injury and burn injury cases. Currently he is Treasurer and a candidate for President-Elect of the 41,000 member State Bar of Georgia.This post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.