Michigan Driver Coercion Rule Effective January 29, 2016, May Reduce Trucking Accidents

March 15, 2016
Michigan Driver Coercion Rule Effective January 29, 2016, May Reduce Trucking Accidents
woman behind the wheel of a truck

Michigan Truck Accident Statistics

The Office of Highway Safety Planning Michigan Traffic Crash Facts[1] provides that in 2011:

  • There were 10,885 accidents involving commercial trucks.
  • There were 73 truck accident deaths.
  • There were 1,903 truck accident injuries.

Truck Driver Coercion in Michigan

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety [2] Administration (FMCSA), coercion occurs when a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary threatens to withhold work from, take employment action against, or punish a truck driver for refusing to operate in violation of hours-of-service and other safety regulations.  The FMCSA reports that economic pressure in the motor carrier industry affects commercial drivers by forcing them to drive in excess of allowable hours-of-service or by being pressured to operate vehicles with mechanical deficiencies.  These practices adversely affect road safety[3] for all Michigan drivers.

To address the problem of coercion, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration adopted the Prohibiting Coercion of Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers, known as the Coercion Rule [4].  The Rule allows drivers to report incidents of coercion to the FMCSA and authorizes the administration to issue penalties against motor carriers, shippers, receivers, or transportation intermediaries.

Coercion Rule in Michigan Reduces Accidents

The Rule took effect January 29, 2016, at which time the administration started to accept coercion complaints from drivers.  According to the FMCSA, which collects data regarding large truck and bus accidents, by enacting the new Coercion Rule, there is hope that a driver who is being coerced to violate important safety rules will report the actions of his or her employer which will reduce the number of trucking accidents and fatalities across Michigan.

Call an Experienced Michigan Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one are involved in an accident with a large truck, you may have serious and even permanent injuries or disabilities.  In most instances, the size discrepancy between a motor vehicle and a commercial truck is so great that the driver of the automobile sustains life-threatening injuries.  If this has happened to you, it is important to speak to a Michigan automobile accident attorney to discuss if the truck driver or trucking company is responsible for the payment of your damages.  Call the Michigan Injury Lawyers so they can discuss your case.  Please feel free to call our office today at 313-GET-HELP for a free consultation with no obligation.