Davis, Oklahoma—Last Friday, September 27th, an 18-wheeler travelling north on interstate-35 swerved into the southbound lane and struck a bus full of college softball players, killing 4 of the students and injuring many more. The accident occurred when the truck failed to turn with the road and went through the median. The truck only stopped after running into a thick patch of trees. The driver showed no signs of braking, according to federal investigators reviewing the crash. The driver of the semi admitted being distracted by something in the cab of the truck, but investigators have not released any specific details around his distraction. Federal investigators did say that the truck’s brakes were in working order. This is just the latest example of innocent highway occupants killed by the trucking industry.
An Unfortunate Trend
Sadly, this is one of many accidents that occur every day in the United States. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis 2012 saw 3,921 people killed in accidents involving 18-wheelers. That’s 140 more people killed than the 3,781 that died in 2011. Of those killed in 2012, 697 were truck occupants, while 3,224 were commuters operating regular vehicles. The total comes out to just over 10 people killed per day. The disparity is drastic and further proves that it is more lethal for those driving the car in semi-truck accidents.
More Trucks Equals More Accidents
The recent surge in truck accident deaths in Texas can almost fully be attributed to the natural gas boom. Areas around natural gas reserves are flooded with 18-wheelers exporting oil from nearby gas wells. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, commercial traffic accidents have increased in counties surrounding the Eagle Ford Shale. In 2013 there were 3,450 traffic accidents involving commercial vehicles that led to serious injury or death. These accidents resulted in 238 fatalities which represents a %7 rise. This is a frightening number because it represents accidents that occurred only in the Eagle Ford Shale region, and not the entire state.
A Flawed Industry
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is in charge of maintaining law and order for the shipping industry. The FMCSA sets the rules and regulations for all 18-wheelers and semi-trucks operating in the United States. When a truck or company is in violation of these rules, the FMCSA administers fines and penalties that are supposedly proportional to the present infractions. In 2013, the FMCSA fined the trucking industry for a total of $17,629,345 in 4,051 different cases. While that number is down from the $31 million in fines given in 2012, it is still far too high and indicates that the trucking industry is not nearly as safe as it needs to be. Furthermore, the $17 million dollar figure reported in 2013 only reflects fines given out by the FMCSA, and does not show how much the industry paid in damages to those injured or killed by a negligent driver or faulty equipment.
Get the Help You Deserve
At Parker Law Firm, we believe that these companies and their negligent drivers need to be held accountable for placing of our lives at risk to make a dollar. We are experienced in trucking accidents and we know how to examine all of the evidence to determine if and when safety regulations were disregarded.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured or killed in an accident involving an 18-wheeler and the accident was not your fault, you may be due compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We will we fight for the financial compensation that you deserve, and we will do our best to make sure that you are satisfied with the outcome. Call the Parker Law Firm for your Complimentary Strategy Session today.