NBC News has posted an article titled” Truck Accidents Surge, But There’s No National Outcry” by Eamon Javers and Jennifer Schlesinger. It is obvious that neither of these “reporters” have a clue as to what they are writing about. The article is written to slant public opinion against truck drivers and the transportation industry.
The article is about a wife/mother and her children killed in a truck related road accident. The article starts with;
Soon they got caught in congestion on Interstate 80, slowing down just behind a flat-bed truck. But behind them, a three-axle Intercontinental 9400 semitrailer didn’t slow down in time. That truck plowed into the Lindner’s minivan at high speed, crushing it, and slammed into the flat-bed truck ahead, creating a horrific fire.
The problem is that there is no such thing as a 9400 semitrailer as stated in this excerpt from the article. It would be like saying “he was driving a Volvo Mustang Trailer.” For one Volvo doesn’t make the mustang and you can’t drive a trailer even if it was made by the Volvo Mustang company. What they are trying to say is an International (Brand name of truck they called Intercontinental) 9400 (The model of the truck) truck pulling a semi-trailer (not driving a semi trailer).
Next the article talks about how so many people die in truck related accidents:
Fatal truck accidents like the one that killed Dan Lindner’s family are all too common—happening nearly 11 times every single day in this country on average, and killing nearly 4,000 people each year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Yes the numbers are right but they are tiny in comparison to the 33,561 people killed in passenger vehicle accidents per year, that is over 90 people a day.
Next the article goes on to explain:
On top of that, more than 100,000 people are injured every year in truck crashes. That’s as bad as if a commuter jet crashed every single week of the year, killing everyone on board.
Again when compared to the 2,362,000 people injured in passenger vehicle accidents the 100,000 people injured in truck related accidents seems reasonable. But I will admit that there are a lot more passenger vehicles on the road than trucks.When comparing on an even field as accidents per mile driven we come up with two facts.
1) There are 1.1 fatal crashes per 100 million truck miles driven
2) There are 1.5 fatal crashes per 100 million passenger vehicle miles driven
The NBC News article goes on to state;[su_quote]Interviews by CNBC with regulators, industry, lawyers and victims reveal a toxic mix of causes for the deaths. The reasons why are as varied as overly tired drivers, companies that don’t screen for problem drivers and government that is slow to force new safety technologies on to American roads.[/su_quote]
They do hit a few good points here. Trucks have much less technology in them as cars and drivers work long hours and are tired a lot of the time. When you factor this in to the statistics I have provided in this article it makes truck drivers look even better.
With the technology in passenger cars and the stress of not driving all day passenger car drivers are killing more people even when they have the advantage of technology, less stress and more sleep. Not to mention passenger vehicles weigh in at 2 tons at the very most and trucks weigh in at 40 tons.
The article also states;
What is clear is that, in any other industry, thousands of deaths a year would generate a national outcry.
Do we really need national outcry about the safest drivers on the road? I think that a thank you is more called for than outcry.
Next the article reads;
In some ways, that means trucking fatalities have become the awful human cost of doing business in America.
Right, trucking is a business. Truck drivers are hauling your food, diapers, milk, cars, gasoline and every other single earthly object you have ever bought. On the other hand many passenger vehicle fatalities are from people engaging in pleasure activities such as going to a movie that has no real purpose and just endangers lives for no real reason.
Next the article states;
Trucking is an industry that’s straining to keep up with surging demand for goods. The industry trade group American Trucking Associations (ATA) says there are 30,000 to 35,000 unfilled truck driver jobs in the United States, and it expects overall freight tonnage to jump 23.5 percent from 2013 to 2025.
Their statistics are valid.; one of the reasons for the shortage is because of the unfair, bias and persecution of truck drivers just trying to do their jobs. Truck driver do NOT try hurt or kill someone but unfortunately we are all humans and will make errors. But there is no forgiveness when a big, bad truck driver kills someone.
Another falsehood, this time from the attorney that is suing the trucking company because somehow getting millions of dollars makes losing your wife and children some how easier ;
Plaintiff’s attorney Ramsdell said the No. 1 problem with commercial trucks is mechanical: Unsafe brakes. But industry spokesman Osiecki said faulty brakes are not to blame. “That doesn’t cause crashes, people cause crashes,” he said. “We don’t direct our resources towards the human behavior element of this.”
Faulty brakes, maybe in the 1950’s. Almost every accident whether in a car, truck or while operating machinery is operator error. Think about how many errors you make a day.
In closing I would like to say that Eamon Javers and Jennifer Schlesinger, the writers of the mostly fictitious “news article” posted and edited by NBC News are one of the problems America faces, inaccurate, bias “news. “ Just imagine the devastation truckers would cause if they took safety as seriously as they do their writing, would be a national outcry then?