I read recently of a bus accident in the northern Philippines. Those passengers who were fortunate enough to survive the crash that sent the bus plunging out of control to the bottom of an 80-foot ravine, told rescuers of how the driver frantically and repeatedly stomped on the malfunctioning brakes to no avail. Twenty-nine people died and many more were seriously injured.
Many people in the U.S. love to complain about ‘big government’ and its regulatory power causing so many problems in their lives. Although one can almost certainly find a regulation that seems rather ridiculous and needs to be modified or eliminated, real-life stories of unnecessary death and destruction in other countries serves to embolden those of us who find most regulations of the auto industry to be not only necessary, but directly responsible for the prevention of these types of accidents.
It cannot be denied that the U.S. government regulations forced the auto industry to meet rigorous manufacturing standards, and forces daily those bus owners and operators of large vehicles to ensure that inspections and maintenance are compliant with identifiable standards designed to prevent accidents and the injuries and death that follow if not met. You won’t find these regulations in other countries. I obviously cannot conclude that our governmental regulations would have prevented this accident. But, I can most assuredly say that our governmental efforts go a long way to holding accountable those whose vehicles can bring a swift end to human life if involved in an accident.
According to the estimates released by the National Safety Council, 40,200 U.S. citizens died in accidents involving motor vehicles in 2016—a 6 percent increase from the prior year, and a stunning 14 percent increase over the last two years. Safety advocates are alarmed. Big rigs are without a doubt the greatest threat to turn an otherwise non-serious accident into one that results in death. Only the force of governmental regulations and the juries who are empowered to enforce them separate us from other countries when it comes to caring enough.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident – especially those involving trucks and large vehicles subject to specific regulations – the Law Office of David M. Kennedy may be able to help you. Please feel free to contact us.
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