Truck Accidents Are Often Preventable
On August 1, 2006, Dan Lindner kissed his two toddlers and wife goodbye before they set out for a four- hour drive with Lindner’s mother-in-law to visit family. This would be the last time he would ever see any of them alive. As his wife drove her minivan on the interstate, traffic slowed to a stop but a three-axle Intercontinental 9400 semitrailer traveling behind them did not yield in time, crashing into their vehicle and causing it to burst into flames. All vehicle occupants and the truck driver were killed on impact.
Truck Accident Lawyers Investigate
Mr. Lindner ultimately sued the company that operated the truck that killed his family. After conducting a private investigation, Mr. Lindner’s truck accident lawyer discovered that the driver who was responsible for the truck accident had been given seven warnings from his company’s safety manager. In addition, he had three prior rear-end accidents — something experts say is a red flag for unsafe driving. While it in no way minimized the impact of his family’s death, Mr. Lindner was able to settle with the company for 13 million dollars.
Commercial Truck Fatality Statistics
In 2012, there were 3,921 deaths and 104,000 injuries in the United States due to truck accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These figures are startling – yet in a country where the economy still relies heavily on highway transportation of goods, regulation within the trucking industry is slow to non-existent.
- Ultimately, Due to the long hours and failure to follow current safety regulations, drivers are increasingly more and more fatigued and prone to potentially fatal accidents.
- The National Traffic Safety Board found that trucker fatigue has been a contributing factor in 30%-40% of all diesel truck accidents.
- The American Trucking Association (ATA) estimates that only 10% of trucks on the road have any kind of safety mechanisms installed.
- With the need to fill approximately 100,000 new jobs each year in the trucking industry according to the ATA, coupled with the high turn-over rate, trucking companies are not appropriately screening their drivers.
California Trucking Accidents
Californians are especially at risk due to the high concentration of highways and interstates- in fact, we are second only to Texas in traffic-related deaths.
A big rig driver was recently killed after slamming into a restaurant in Pittsburg, CA. Investigations show evidence that the accident could have been prevented if the vehicle had been properly maintained by the trucking company. An anonymous employee tipped off the media, claiming to have seen failures of such crucial mechanical elements as tires, brakes, and oil lines. Sure enough, the California Highway Patrol was able to provide “a stack of violations” which included driving without a lug nut.
Commercial trucking companies have a responsibility to keep their equipment in good working order, for the safety of their drivers and everyone else on the road. Safety should never be sacrificed for profit. If you have been involved in a truck accident, or work for a commercial trucking company where you suffered an injury, call experienced attorney Frank Penney for a free consultation.