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Fatalities in truck accidents rising — Priorities must change

The National Transportation Board has called for priorities to change given that fatal truck accidents have increased for the fourth year in a row while regulators have not acted on many recommendations made to improve safety measures. It is reported that in excess of a 100 recommendations were made to regulators, with little or no effect. The NTSB is calling for regulators to focus on ways to ensure that truck accidents do not keep rising.

Truck accidents, either involving fatalities or serious injury, are not an unfamiliar sight on New Jersey roads. Across the country, accidents caused by truckers lead to approximately 4,000 fatalities annually. The June 2014 crash that serious injured comedian Tracy Morgan suffered is but one example of the devastation caused by truck accidents.

According to the NTSB, a major issue is fatigued truck drivers. In the Tracy Morgan accident, it is reported that the driver who caused the accident had not slept for 24 hours. Furthermore, stricter enforcement of safety requirements are called for as approximately 20 percent of inspections find violations of safety regulations. Advances in technology such as anti-collision technology, warning sensors and technology with which to regulate driver hours deserve more attention.

In New Jersey, seriously injured victims of truck accidents may elect to file a personal injury claim. The legal estate of a deceased victim of a truck accident may elect to file a wrongful death claim. Monetary damages awarded from a successful civil claim — based upon proof of negligence — could help the victim better cope with medical bills, rehabilitation costs and any lost wages due to missed time from work. Furthermore, a wrongful death claim may assist the family of the deceased to better cope with the unexpected expenses that inevitably accompany tragedies of that nature.

Source: insurancejournal.com, “It’s Time to Act on Trucking Safety Ideas, Says NTSB“, Alan Levin, Accessed on Feb. 14, 2015