Cross-Border Truck Accidents
One of the ramifications of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is cross-border trucking. Large commercial vehicles from Canada and Mexico are now allowed to travel across the border into and throughout the United States.
The trucking industry and trucking laws were already complex and enforcement was challenging. With the recent influx of foreign trucks, we are facing even more challenges and safety issues. Victims of cross-border trucking accidents have the added factor of dealing with foreign companies when they seek compensation for their injuries.
If you are involved in an accident with a truck from Mexico or Canada, you need the help of a highly skilled truck accident attorney who has extensive experience in trucking accident law and a thorough understanding of NAFTA.
Pilot Program Extended Without Full Evaluation
In September, 2007, a very controversial pilot program allowing Mexican trucks into the United States began. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has tried to reassure the public that cross-border trucking is safe. Many people are not convinced.
The same laws and regulations that apply to American trucks and truck drivers are supposed to apply to foreign trucks and drivers, but so far there has been little or no proof that Mexican trucks will truly be required to live up to American safety standards.
The pilot program was supposed to last one year, and then the results were to be reviewed to determine if it was really working safely. However, as of August, 2008, the pilot program has been extended for two more years without a full evaluation.
The many safety concerns associated with cross-border trucking include:
- Training, skills, and licensing
- Hours of service
- Drug and alcohol testing
- Truck maintenance
- Security and dangerous cargo
- Knowledge of the rules of the road in the U.S.
- The ability to understand English
- Physical fitness
Safety regulations in Mexico are much more lax than they are in the U.S. Trucks crossing the border may be old and in disrepair. Drivers may not have adequate training, a full grasp of the English language, or knowledge of American driving laws. Cross-border truck accidents require very special legal expertise, not only in trucking law, but also in international law.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a cross-border trucking accident in Washington, DC, please contact our team of truck accident attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C. today. When you work with the right personal injury lawyer, you can have confidence that your case is in capable hands.