According to CNBC, fatal truck crashes have been on the rise since 2009. There are, of course, many reasons for this disturbing trend. Some of the most concerning include:
- Overly tired truck drivers
- High turnover among truck drivers, which makes it difficult for trucking companies to keep enough qualified truck drivers to meet their clients’ schedules
- Trucking companies that do not screen for problem drivers (especially those with a history of trucking and traffic violations)
- Delays in government enforcement of new safety technologies
- Dangerous driving (e.g., weaving in and out of traffic) by passenger vehicles; trucks require greater stopping distance and thus have more difficulty avoiding other dangerous drivers on the road
Why Hasn’t This Problem Been Addressed?
Every year, thousands of people die on American highways as a result of truck-related accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration just released its latest Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts, which revealed that 4,337 people died in fatal accidents involving a large truck or bus in 2015.
In many other industries, that many deaths would attract national attention. Unfortunately, fatal truck accidents are often scattered in small numbers all across the country and do not often receive significant media coverage. Accidents like those involving actor Tracy Morgan are the exception. (In that case, the National Transit Safety Board discovered that the driver of the truck that rear-ended Morgan’s limo bus had not slept in 28 hours.)
In contrast to the little public attention truck accidents receive, the trucking industry has powerful lobbyists in Washington, D.C. These are professionals whose only job is to prevent Congress from regulating the trucking industry. They also convey the troubling opinions of the trucking industry, such as these statements made by the executive vice president of national advocacy at the American Trucking Associations:
- “There will always be risk on our roads. … How much risk do we accept?” This quote implies that we should not bother to reduce risks because some amount of risk is inevitable.
- “Reducing the number of hours a trucker can drive will only result in more trucks on the road, which also increases the risk of accidents.” This also implies that you must trade one risk for another, so there is no point in attempting to remove a risk.
Until there is an increase in public awareness, it seems that the government will be more likely to cater to the trucking industry than to the American public.
Contact an Experienced Houston Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been in an accident involving a commercial truck, call 800-898-4877 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced auto accident attorney. The experienced team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law offers the personalized service to get you the compensation you deserve.