In late April, a semi casually rolled into a home in Greenbrier. The driver left his rig unattended to visit a family member. No one was killed, but a home was destroyed and had the timing of the incident been different, the outcome could’ve been far more disastrous.
On the surface this seems more to do with bad driving habits than laws or oversight. However, gaps in both regulations and oversight lead to scores of similar incidents each year. Tennessee truck accident lawyer Henry Queener has handled numerous cases where he thinks improved enforcement would make a difference.
“The problem isn’t always the drivers or their habits,” Queener says. “We find profiteering by large trucking firms and a lack of funding for officials to oversee code enforcement, safety checks and other vital functions codified in law is what causes harm.”
According to CDC publications for 2015, truck drivers were the most likely candidates for on-the-job deaths, with 65% of those deaths happening as the direct result of a truck accident in 2012. NTSB data shows truck involvement in nearly 25% of accidents in work zones, and as many as one in eight fatal accidents on American roads. Tennessee truck accident lawyers know 119 people died in truck accidents here last year.
Technology to alert drivers to road hazards, remind drivers of important maintenance and vehicle operations issues, and track the activities of truckers exists, but is rarely used on big rigs in America despite it’s prevalence elsewhere. Truck accident lawyers agree that though mandating the technology used in Europe to keep truck accidents from happening seems attractive, it is costly. “More effective enforcement of existing regulations would be a good start toward safer roads for all,” says Queener.