Is trucking safer in America than it was ten years ago? Recently, families of fatal truck crashes weighed in on some testimony presented at a Senate hearing which they forcefully disputed. The trucking industry, through the American Trucking Associations (ATA) had claimed that trucking fatalities have been in a decline over the past ten years. However, victims’ families say the facts do not support this claim. In an impassioned letter to the relevant Senate committees written on behalf of many families through an organization called the Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT), victim’s families challenged the claim that the trucking industry statistics on safety show an improvement in number of fatal accidents. In fact they said current truck safety is “dismal” and refuted the efforts to allow longer trucks driven by weary truckers which they assert will cause more fatalities. PATT is part of the Truck Safety Coalition which works to improve truck safety and makes recommendations on how to improve safety for truck drivers and trucking companies.
The families’ noted as “misleading,” the recent statements presented by a major trucking company before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security. In their statements, the general counsel of a major trucking company and the ATA made a number of recommendations on truck safety and also made the claim that fatalities related to truck accidents are in a decline and that truck safety is improving. However, the parent group refuted this statistic in a letter to key senators. PATT noted that the 2013 statistics were worse than those from 2012.
The concern over fatigued drivers behind the wheel of large trucks, was brought front and center last year when comedian Tracy Morgan was seriously injured, and his colleague killed, in a truck collision. The cause of the Morgan accident was considered to be driver fatigue. After an investigation, it was determined that not only was the WalMart truck driver going about 20 miles over the speed limit, he had been awake for 24 consecutive hours. This is not permitted under the federal regulations.
Morgan is said to have sustained a severe brain injury — from which he is still trying to recover. Patients who have sustained this type of catastrophic injury often take a very long time not only to improve, but for physicians to know the extent of the injury. That is one of the reasons these injuries are so complex and challenging for the victims and their families.
Scholle Law is dedicated to helping victims and their families deal with the overwhelming issues involved after a major truck crash. The support we provide is not only in legal representation that is the most highly rated possible, but we also often guide our clients and their families through their medical needs. Please contact us for a free consultation regarding your trucking accident.