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Despite causing deaths and injuries, trucking industry rolls on

Imagine a world in which every single week, a passenger jet crashed in the United States. Dozens are killed in each crash, with the rest of the passengers injured and hundreds more hurt on the ground. How long do you think that could continue, week after week, before the government launched major investigations and new safety procedures?

Even though the equivalent of that carnage happens every week in truck accidents around the nation, there’s virtually no mention of it in Congress, the White House or the media. The rare exception was when actor Tracy Morgan was injured in a crash involving a tractor-trailer not far from New York City.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, fatal truck accidents happen almost 11 times per day across the nation. Nearly 4,000 people die in those crashes and more than 100,000 are injured annually. The rate of fatal truck accidents is on the rise, too: in just three years (2009 to 2012), the crash rate rose 18 percent. And yet there’s no national outcry to diminish the dangers large commercial trucks pose to motorists and no media storm surrounding the trucking industry.

There is perhaps an understandable explanation for the lack of national concern: truck accidents are scattered across the nation. Local news reports are briefly filled with stories of the nearby crash then the talk shifts to sports, weather and other news items.

One of the leading causes of the crashes are fatigued drivers. Because the demand for trucking services is surging in a rebounding economy, there are approximately 30,000 unfilled trucking jobs in the nation right now. That puts strain on existing truckers to drive more miles, stay awake longer and push themselves to keep up with employer needs.

For those families who have lost a loved one or had a family member injured in a truck accident, life is forever changed. For many, there will be a financial need – or a desire to seek justice for their loved one – that calls for the guidance of an attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death claims.

Source: CNBC, “Truck accidents surge: Why no national outcry?” Accessed Sept. 9, 2014

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