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Trucking industry needs greater commitment to safety

Truck safety has come into greater attention since the well-known highway accident involving actor-comedian Tracy Morgan back in June on the New Jersey Turnpike. As we’ve previously written, that accident left Morgan and others injured, and resulted in the death of comedian James McNair, an aspect of the crash which has received less attention than Morgan’s injuries and subsequent lawsuit. As a recent NBC article points out, truck accidents are much more common than one would assume from the relatively minimal media coverage. It is typically only the most serious ones or the ones involving famous people that we hear about in the news.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an average of 11 fatal truck accidents occur every day, and an average of almost 4,000 people died in such accidents every year. Injuries from truck accidents amount to over 1000,000 every year. Clearly, it’s a big problem, and one that deserves more attention than it is getting.

The issue of blame is a complicated one, with the trucking industry tending to look at accidents as the cost of doing business and safety advocates calling for stricter safety requirements and increased vigilance within the industry. The new hours-of-service rules, which reduced the amount of time truckers can remain behind the wheel, are one of the more recent attempts to address the issue. More than regulations will be needed, though. A deep and widespread commitment to safety within the industry itself is necessary.

Those who are harmed or who have lost a loved one in a truck accident owe it to themselves to work with an experienced attorney in seeking the compensation they deserve and holding responsible parties accountable. While personal injury litigation is not a perfect means of securing justice against a negligent driver, it can certainly be helpful to receive damages to cover costs and losses.

Source: NBC News, “Truck Accidents Surge, But There’s No National Outcry,” Eamon Javers & Jennifer Schlesinger, July 31, 2014.

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