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Friday, August 28, 2015
By Louis Grandelli

According to a recent New York Times piece, this year more people will die in traffic accidents involving large trucks than the number of people who have been killed in the last 45 years of commercial airplane crashes. Despite, Congress is wholly ignoring roadway safety while working to pass a new highway funding bill.

In order to illustrate the dangers that the large truck industry poses on the national and state highways, the New York Times article discusses the accident where comedian Tracy Morgan’s limo was struck by a Walmart freighter.

In order to illustrate the dangers that the large truck industry poses on the national and state highways, the New York Times article discusses the accident where comedian Tracy Morgan’s limo was struck by a Walmart freighter.

In the instance of the accident involving Mr. Morgan, the truck driver, who was working on too little sleep, collided with the limo at an unlawful rate of speed. Unfortunately, this is an all too common occurrence. While this accident highlighted the problem, the numbers show the problem’s depth. Between 2009 and 2013, trucks accident fatalities rose 17%, reaching a total of 3,964 in 2013. Despite the death toll, little is being done to manage the problem.

In fact, instead of working to better manage this, the trucking industry is pushing to allow for longer work weeks arguing it will allow for the use of fewer trucks on the road. It’s almost a given though that longer work weeks will mean more tired drivers. Thus, even if there are fewer trucks, the trucks that are still on the road will certainly be more dangerous to other drivers.

Incredibly, while there is already significant technology available to make large trucks safer, the trucking industry has also railed against its implementation, arguing that any new regulation requiring these safety features would be too costly.

Our firm has worked on many cases involving trucks, buses, and other large vehicles, including being involved in the case of Mr. Morgan’s accident. Our office referred the case for comedian James McNair, a passenger in Mr. Morgan’s limo, who passed away as a result of the accident to New Jersey attorney, Daryl Zaslow.

The extra size of these large freight trucks makes the danger for significant injuries and death obvious and we have worked hand in hand with the families who have been the victim of these unnecessary tragedies. Before passing any bill pushed by the trucking industry that protects their bottom line without protecting others on the road, Congress needs to take a serious look at these numbers and what real harm could be avoided.


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