As a result of the recent recovery of the economy, and the ever increasing number of vehicles on America’s highways, there are more and more headlines about fatal trucking accidents involving tractor-trailers. Recently, a fatal accident severely injuring famous comedian and actor Tracy Morgan and killing another has made the news cycle when it was discovered that the driver, driving for Walmart, was sleep deprived. Why are these types of stories becoming more common as time passes instead of becoming scarcer? A recent report takes an in depth look at the dangerous trucking industry, and why there aren’t more precautions in place to keep the roads safer for these multi-ton vehicles.
“COLLISON COURSE:” A CNBC INVESTIGATION
Cable news channel CNBC has recently released a new four part investigation story, reported by Eamon Javers, on the sudden increase in trucking accidents from 2009 to 2012. In those three years, there was an increase of 18 percent from 2009, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The report takes a look at trucking accident statistics, tragic stories, potential life saving technology, and “Chameleon Carriers.”
STATISTICS REVEAL MANY TRUCKS OPERATE WITH MECHANICAL PROBLEMS
An in-depth look at statistics reveal that in 2012, over 2 million (or 20 percent) of trucks that were inspected had out-of-service- violations. They found that these trucks had such problems as faulty brakes, bad tires, and other mechanical problems and absolutely not have been on the road. On top of these out-of-service-violations, almost 171,000 (or 5 percent) of drivers had multiple previous driving violations, enough to pull them off of the road. These careless drivers have the unfortunate potential to go on and seriously injure innocent motorists.
TRAGIC STORY OF FAMILY LOST IN TRUCKING ACCIDENT
CNBC also included a tragic story about a man who lost his whole family when they were rear-ended by a speeding tractor-trailer. Dan Lindener lost his wife and two sons when they were travelling to visit his mother-in-law and a reckless tractor-trailer operator, who had previous driving violations, was travelling at unsafe speeds and could not slow down in time when the Lindener family’s vehicle was slowing down in front of them. The tractor-trailer plowed into the rear of the vehicle, virtually leaving zero trace of the Lindener’s vehicle after the wreck was cleared.
MORE TRUCKS NEED POTENTIAL LIFESAVING TECHNOLOGY
The report takes a look at relatively inexpensive technology that can be used to prevent such accidents as the Lindener’s, however, only 10 percent of tractor-trailers are implementing the technology. In the report, CNBC claims Daimler A.G. Mercedes Benz has goal of launching autonomous, driverless trucks by 2025. Another truck manufacturer featured in the story for using safety technology was Volvo Group. They have installed enhanced cruise controls in their trucks. The controls never allow the truck to travel faster than the vehicle, and will automatically brake if the truck approaches another vehicle too quickly. There are also loud alarms that go off when the truck begins to drift out of its lanes.
“CHAMELEON CARRIES” ON THE RISE
CNBC also delves into the topic of “Chameleon Carriers,” which are trucking companies who have had bad safety records change their name. Instead of fixing their safety issues, they just change their name and continue to demonstrate unsafe practices. The report features a fatal accident in which a tractor trailer driver who fatally struck a fellow driver along the side of a highway in Oregon. It was unveiled in the investigation after the wreck that the driver responsible was under the influence of crystal meth. He was driving for a “Chameleon Carrier” who had changed their name after receiving poor safety ratings.
CONTACT PINELLAS COUNTY TRUCKING ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS DOLMAN LAW GROUP
The CNBC report shed light on what exactly is increasing these tragic accidents. Tractor-trailers are multi-ton death traps if operated carelessly and recklessly. Proper maintenance, upkeep, driver training and screening are essential in keeping the highways safe. While highlighting the rampant dangers in the trucking industry, the report also features technology that can help make tractor-trailers safer and potentially save lives from preventing accidents like the tragic one that the Lindener family suffered.
Dolman Law Group knows just how tragic and life changing trucking accidents can be. We’ve seen firsthand injuries such as a traumatic brain injury, neck and spinal injuries, broken limbs, whiplash, and permanent disfigurement result from being involved in a collision with tractor trailers. We hold the negligent and careless, like the “Chameleon Carriers,” responsible for these collisions. We pride ourselves on the results we get from working diligently for our clients. Our experienced truck accident attorneys are available for clients 24/7, and have the resources to take on the largest trucking and insurance companies.
If you, a loved one, or someone you know suffered injuries as a result of being involved in a trucking accident, contact Dolman Law Group today at 727-451-6900 for a free and confidential consultation.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater FL 33765