In late July, I took the deposition of a truck driver who killed a wonderful husband and father of two beautiful little girls. In this completely preventable Michigan truck accident case, the driver lost control of his fully-loaded 150,000-pound gravel truck and swerved into my client’s car as it was traveling alongside the truck on I-75 in Detroit, killing him.
The driver admitted he had received no formal training or supervision from his employer. He also said he failed to inspect the truck’s tires and brakes. Additionally, he had a seizure disorder and was on powerful epilepsy medication that causes drowsiness and delayed reaction time.
Why There Will be More Wrongful Deaths if Trucking Companies Don’t Shape Up
Sadly, there will be countless more senseless truck accidents causing death and serious personal injuries due to unsafe trucking companies like this one that turn a blind eye to truck safety and ignore drivers violating mandatory safety laws.
As gas prices soar, I and other attorneys who frequently litigate serious truck accident cases are starting to see strapped trucking companies cut back on maintenance and safety programs. These bad trucking companies then undercut the good trucking companies that try to follow the rules on price.
Michigan Truck Accident Lawyers Help Prevent Accidents
At a time when our federal and state governments are doing very little to protect people from unsafe trucking companies and unfit drivers, one of the only groups pushing unsafe trucking companies to reform their conduct are the truck accident lawyers. While the government cannot or will not pursue these trucking companies, either because of Michigan’s strained financial resources or the Bush Administration’s political calculations, it’s the lawyers who are bringing lawsuits that are forcing bad trucking companies to improve safety.
As former President of the American Association for Justice Interstate Truck Litigation Group and current member of the Board of Governors for the American Interstate Truck Litigation Association, I feel this important example of lawyers promoting positive social change often is ignored by the media. But besides the truck accident lawyers, what other group is forcing the trucking industry to make better safety decisions?
Too many trucking companies turn a blind eye to safety. And they are doing so at the worst possible time, as government regulators fail to confront this escalating crisis and soaring gas prices are making things worse. Truck maintenance and driver safety programs will be the first to be cut as costs escalate for such bad truck companies.
A great Michigan lawyer, Harry Philo, once said: “Any risk of serious injury or death is always unreasonable if reasonable accident prevention measures could reduce or eliminate the risk.” Without the truck accident lawyers, no other groups are forcing these unsafe trucking companies to take reasonable safety precautions to reduce truck accidents.