An op-ed article out of the New York Times recently called attention to the rise in truck accident deaths on U.S roadways. While overall roadway traffic fatality rates are dropping, we’re seeing an increase in fatal crashes involving large trucks. Between 2009 and 2013, fatalities in truck-involved wrecks rose 17 percent. The writer, Howard Abramson, former executive at American Trucking Associations, is quick to point out that deliberate efforts at deregulation in the trucking industry and a business culture of choosing profits over safety have contributed to the problem.
Systematic Deregulation in The Trucking Industry
This year, Congress has worked toward rolling back safety improvements ordered by federal regulators. For example, they have been pushing for a change from the 70-hour, eight-day work week, to an 82-hour work week. They have also been making efforts to lower the minimum age for large truck drivers for interstate travel. All of these changes could add up to even more big rig crashes. We know that drowsy driving, sleep apnea, drug use and other problems associated with pushing drivers past safe limits are major contributors to injury-causing and fatal truck accidents across the country.
Savings Over Safety
It’s no secret that commercial trucks are disproportionately involved in fatal crashes. The industry fights safety advances and regulations at every turn to save a buck, and motorists’ and other roadway users’ lives at put at risk. It isn’t just the push for fewer safety regulations. These trucks are large and can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds. If your small passenger occupant vehicle is involved in an accident with a big rig, you can imagine which vehicle is going to sustain more damage.
After a Truck Accident in Texoma
Accidents involving commercial trucks can leave victims catastrophically injured, or worse. These vehicles are so much larger and heavier than other cars and light trucks, and they can do a lot of damage. Since truck drivers and the commercial trucking industry do have additional federal regulations to follow for safe operation, truck accident investigations can be lengthy and involve multiple agencies. After a truck accident, investigators need to determine if truck drivers or trucking companies violated traffic laws or federal safety regulations.
If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a truck accident in Texoma, contact the skilled team at the Altman Legal Group at 940-761-4000 for a free case consultation.