Fatal Truck Crashes Surge: Biden Administration Under Fire for Lack of Action on Highway Safety

Buttigieg, the Transportation Secretary, has spent more time focusing on the “racist roads” than he has done on the real issue of ensuring that Americans receive their goods and services timely. Who cares if the shelves are empty and prices go up? He is the first gay Transportation Secretary. The whole administration is increasing the pressure on electric truck regulations, which will only further slow down the supply chain.

The safety of buses and tractor-trailers on American roads is also a concern. In a previous article, I described a program to train more young drivers for trucks and buses. The trucking industry, safety organizations, and others recommended the program so that 18 to 21-year-old drivers could start their careers with the proper safety training. But the Biden administration burdened it by pairing it up with onerous Department of Labor apprentice programs and making it costly for young drivers.

Everything must be done in the way of the administration with little safety concern and how much money young truckers will have to pay out-of-pocket for their training or federally mandated apprentice. In this instance, the road comes before safety, even if that makes no sense. Now, we are seeing the results of the decision.

Freightwaves has reported new data about crashes involving young drivers. However, this shocking data is not enough to convince the government to take action to ensure safety.

John Gallagher, Freightwaves, writes that “deaths from large-truck accidents involving newly licensed drivers continue to increase.” The statistics are staggering.

Gallagher continued, “According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration taken at the end of 2023, fatal crashes of large trucks and buses involving new entrants have risen from 4,6% to 7,4% between 2017 and 2022.” In 2022, these crashes caused 494 deaths with over $5.5 billion in costs.

The numbers are from the Trump administration. However, fatal accidents involving new drivers increased dramatically under Biden. The rate of fatal crashes among new drivers increased only by a half percent during the Trump administration, but it jumped over two percentage points under Biden.

This data comes with another caveat. The percentages do not distinguish between crashes in which the driver was at fault and those where they were not. But if safety testing and training could have prevented any of these deaths, shame on the government.

You might still think this data would prompt the administration to accelerate a planned test program. But not so fast.

According to Freightwaves, a representative of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which published these sobering statistics, “acknowledged” that FMCSA had yet to create a written proficiency test, as mandated by Congress back in 2012.

Kelly Stowe, FMCSA spokesperson, told Freightwaves that the deadline to meet this requirement was April 2014. We are 10 years behind schedule. Even though the delays and deaths that resulted from the inaction, Stowe admits the July 2024 deadline “will probably slip.” This is a high-level work plan that’s open to change.

The crash rates continue to rise, and deaths keep increasing. At least, the Biden administration prioritized the problem with those racist roads and bridges.