An eye-opening investigative report on CNBC indicates an alarming trend in the trucking industry – a surge in trucking accidents. In fact, trucking accidents happen 11 times every single day in this country on average, killing nearly 4,000 people each year and injuring more than 100,000 people every year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
And the problem has been getting worse. Since 2009, trucking accident fatalities have increased due, in part, to an increasing number of goods shipped on American highways and additional pressure on trucking companies and their drivers to get the loads delivered on time.
According to the NBC News article, interviews with regulators, industry experts, lawyers, and accident victims “reveal a toxic mix of causes for the deaths,” including reasons such as “overly tired drivers, companies that don’t screen for problem drivers and government that is slow to force new safety technologies on to American roads. Some blame even goes to passenger vehicles weaving dangerously in and out of the way of heavier, slower-reacting trucks.”
Almost as startling as the surge in trucking accidents is the lack of public outcry for the surge in fatalities. “[B]ecause trucking deaths are scattered in small numbers across the country, they don’t often get covered in the national news,” the article said.
Cogan & Power trucking attorney Jon Papin – who represented a client who lost his family in a trucking accident – told NBC News that a private investigator discovered that the trucker in his client’s case had been given seven warnings from his company’s safety manager and that the driver had three prior rear-end accidents – something that is a red flag for unsafe driving. “This is a driver we don’t think should have ever been on the road,” said Papin.
Many industry experts believe that there is a need for increased government oversight and stricter safety regulations within the trucking industry. For instance, last year new hours-of-service regulations went into place requiring truckers to rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights from 1- 5 a.m., after they have reached 70 hours drive time within one week.
Chicago trucking accident lawyer Jon Papin went on to reiterate the need for changes within the trucking industry to promote safety. “You can’t take the trucks off the road,” Lindner said. “You can’t stop that commerce. But you need to do it safely—you need to do it properly.”
Liability for FMCSR Violations
The Chicago truck accident attorneys at Cogan & Power, P.C. focus on representing the victims of commercial trucking accidents, including those caused by FMCSR violations, distracted truck driving, or truck driver fatigue.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, contact the Chicago trucking accident attorneys at Cogan & Power at (312) 477-2500 for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights following a commercial trucking accident. If you cannot come to our offices in downtown Chicago, we will come to you. And because we take cases on a contingency basis, you will not pay any fee unless we get you compensation.