Fox & Farley, Attorneys at Law

Concern grows after 4th straight year of truck fatality increase

Although a settlement for comedian James McNair was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount, the trucking lawsuit accident involving McNair and comedian Tracy Morgan is still in the spotlight. One source reports that if Congress chooses to permanently suspend regulations against trucker fatigue, Tennessee truckers would be able to work up to 82 hours per week.

Nationwide awareness groups continue to fight for public education on fatigued driving and emphasize sufficient time for truck drivers to obtain quality sleep. Meanwhile, highway regulators have not acted on over 100 recommendations to improve truck safety even though trucking accident fatalities have continued to increase for four straight years, according to one report. In 2013, the number of people killed in large-truck crashes increased to 3,964 people, including truckers, pedestrians and vehicle occupants that collided with these trucks.

As technology continues to get smarter, one suggestion from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board to help truck drivers is to have sensors that warn truck drivers when they are about to strike someone from behind. A second suggestion would be alerting truck drivers about a vehicle changing lanes.

Despite its support of these technologies, the NTSB has no ability to mandate the use of the devices, which may place many drivers on the road at risk of becoming injured or killed in an accident. However, if the cause of a crash might be attributed to the actions of a truck driver or lack of oversight from that driver’s employer, those who were negatively affected by the accident may be able to file a civil lawsuit that seeks compensation for damages. An attorney who is working with a plaintiff in such a case might use a police report detailing what happened on the highway to keep track of who may be at fault for insurance purposes and for legal disputes.

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