Comedian's tragedy: a reminder of the growing threat of truck accidents
On behalf of Conrad Odom at Odom Law Firm, P.A.
Tracy Morgan’s recent accident is a reminder of the growing problem of truck accidents in Arkansas and across the nation.
Everyday across the county, truck accidents happen. Unfortunately, due to the gargantuan differences in weight and size between a car and a truck, they are more likely to result in serious injuries and fatalities than a run-of-the-mill car accident. According to statistics, about 11 fatal truck accidents happen each day.
Sadly, not many of the fatal accidents receive the media attention that they deserve. A notable exception is the Tracy Morgan accident. It occurred recently when a large semi-truck driven by a Wal-Mart employee hit a limousine van containing comedian and actor Tracy Morgan and several others as passengers. As a result of the collision, Morgan suffered several serious injuries including a broken nose, several fractured ribs and a broken leg. Tragically, the collision also claimed the life of another one of the vehicle's occupants.
According to a NTSB report, the truck hit the van while traveling more than 20 mph above the speed limit. The reason for the accident-truck driver fatigue. Under questioning, the driver of the truck admitted that he had not slept in over a day at the time of the collision.
Because of the accident, Morgan recently filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart, seeking damages for negligence.
Truck accidents: a growing problem
Unfortunately, it took an accident involving a celebrity to bring the problem of truck accidents to the nation's attention. However, any attention to this area is a good thing because, according to recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of fatal truck accidents is increasing.
The latest NHTSA statistics indicate that there was an approximately four percent increase in the number of people killed in collisions involving large trucks between 2011 and 2012. In total, 3,921 people lost their lives during this year. This increase was not a statistical anomaly, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that the number of fatal truck accidents increased 18 percent between 2009 and 2012.
In addition to fatalities, truck accidents are a leading source of injuries, causing more than 100,000 each year, according to the FMCSA.
This high rate of injuries and fatalities is quite shocking, especially given that trucks are driving less and there are fewer trucks on the roads. FMCSA statistics indicate that the number of trucks during the 2009-2012 period declined 2.86 percent. Additionally, the annual distance driven by trucks decreased 2.67 percent during the same period.
Involved in an accident? Consult an attorney
Sadly, Arkansas is not an exception to the growing problem of truck accidents. NHTSA data indicates that 88 people died in truck accidents in The Natural State during 2012, 12 more fatalities than just four years prior.
If the negligence of the trucking company or driver causes an accident, the responsible party can be held liable for injuries and property damage resulting from the collision under the law. Additionally, if the accident is fatal, certain family members may recover various economic and noneconomic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can advise you further on your right of recovery.
Keywords: truck accidents, negligence