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The rise in deadly tractor trailer accidents

Like it or not, Bergen County commuters deal with large amounts of truck traffic every day. Across the country, almost 4,000 people die in semi-truck accidents annually, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Fatal large truck accidents occur at the rate of about 11 per day nationwide, but news reports are so widespread that it’s difficult for the public to see a pattern.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reported approximately 333,000 large trucks were involved in traffic accidents in 2012. The result included about 104,000 injuries. Eighty-three percent of the people hurt in those collisions were either occupants of smaller vehicles or non-occupants — not truck drivers or truck passengers.

Transportation officials and safety advocates have watched the number of fatal truck accidents creep up in recent years. The trend becomes more disturbing when you realize none of the safety watchdogs can agree on the reasons truck accidents are on the rise. Several factors have been blamed, including increased pressure on truckers by employers to meet delivery deadlines.

Some trucking companies may fail to monitor or ignore the work and rest schedules of their drivers. Employers can be held liable in accident claims for hiring incompetent drivers and allowing unrested employees to drive.

Lawmakers have been hesitant to restrict how the powerful trucking industry operates. The services provided by the industry are crucial to consumers and, subsequently, the nation’s economy. Safety advocates fear a lack of regulations on trucking companies may be contributing to an unnecessary number of accident injuries and deaths.

The injuries suffered by truck accident victims are often catastrophic. Survivors may require costly long-term or life-long treatment. New Jersey personal injury and wrongful death attorneys help victims and their families recover compensation for medical expenses and wage losses through civil lawsuits.

Source: CNBC, “Truck accidents surge: Why no national outcry?” accessed Mar. 25, 2015

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