Accidents involving trucks can result in serious injuries or death in most cases, specifically because these trucks are significantly heavier than passenger vehicles. A fully loaded large truck can weigh approximately 80,000 pounds at any given time, while your average passenger automobile weighs around 3,000 pounds. Because of this fact, truck drivers and manufacturers are held to higher legal standards than most other drivers on the roadways. (1)
In recent news, Five Georgia Congressmen have written to federal safety regulators about the growing issue and that standards need to be set on large trucks and buses. They want to see these means of transportation equipped with special forward collision avoidance technology and braking systems, which help avoid rear-end accidents. They are preparing legislation that would require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to implement these new regulations. Why? Too many recent accidents have taken the lives of many.
For instance, in May, five Georgia nursing students were killed in a rear-end collision with a tractor-trailer truck. It slammed into two SUVs carrying the women on Interstate 16, which were stopped in traffic from another crash two miles ahead. An Atlanta Attorney named Bob Cheely stated that, “The trucker didn’t brake. He was traveling 68 miles an hour according to the black box on the trailer. He didn’t make any evasive action, and the truck was equipped with a crash avoidance system.” The Congressmen involved in the new action believe that the system will possibly reduce the annual toll of about 130,000 crashes, 4,000 fatalities, and 80,000 injuries that are caused by large vehicles rear-ending passenger cars. (2)
Tracy Morgan’s Accident
Comedian Tracy Morgan was in an unfortunate accident that took place in New Jersey with many similarities. In June 2014, a Wal-Mart truck slammed into his limo carrying he and his friends on the New Jersey Turnpike, one of who was killed in the crash. He suffered a broken leg, nose, and ribs in addition to traumatic brain injury. The most saddening news about all of this was that his 23-month-old daughter Maven was afraid to approach him while he was wheelchair-bound from the accident. She wouldn’t come over to him once released from the hospital and as he stated, “I took that personally.” These accidents can take a tremendous toll on the lives of survivors or those who lose a loved one due to them! (3)
The Congressmen as previously mentioned addressed their letter to NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind, saying that there is widespread support for crash-avoidance technology from the trucking industry and auto safety organizations. These organizations include the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the Truck Safety Coalition, and the Center for Auto Safety, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and Road Safe America. (2) They realize the issues at hand and hope to have them addressed shortly.
Truck drivers and trucking companies may be held liable for accidents that stem from negligence in a trucking accident. One must establish liability in a case when hoping to compensate for their injuries. These rear-end collisions are happening constantly on our highways and the fatality count is only rising each year, so until things are settled, precautions and safety measures need to stand in place. Contact an attorney at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today to see where you stand in your case.