In Georgia as in many states, the trucking industry is vital to the health of the state’s economy. According to national transportation research group TRIP, about $800 billion in goods are shipped to or from sites in Georgia each year, and nearly all of those products are shipped by tuck. Nearly 85 percent of all goods shipped from Georgia are carried by trucking companies with another 10 percent shipped by multiple mode delivery services which include trucking. It’s no surprise then, that millions of trucks are traveling the state’s highways every day, and while most truck transportation moves smoothly in and out of the state, nearly most weeks see at least one trucking accident on the state’s busy interstate highways.
The deadly aftermath of Georgia’s trucking accidents
In recent years, one stretch of busy I-16 has proven especially dangerous for serious trucking accidents, leaving some to wonder if state and federal trucking regulations are being properly enforced. In mid-May, the highway was the scene of a fiery collision that occurred when one tractor-trailer collided with three cars, a pickup truck and a second tractor-trailer before bursting into flames, causing five deaths. Just about a month earlier, five nursing students were killed along the same stretch of I-16 when a tractor trailer failed to slow, slamming into traffic and causing a deadly chain reaction of multiple collisions.
In the most recent accident, police reported the tractor-trailer that caused the accident was not equipped with a collision avoidance system, which could have potentially forced the truck to brake in enough time to avoid a crash. And in both crashes, investigators are considering whether the truck drivers might have fallen asleep behind the wheel prior to slamming into the other vehicles. In the case of the first crash, investigators learned the driver had been involved in another crash in 2011 that occurred when he fell asleep while driving. Several lawsuits have been filed on behalf of the nursing students’ survivors. The lawsuits also state the driver lost his job after the 2011 crash – but was rehired by another trucking company that appears to have failed to thoroughly check the driver’s history.
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Enforcement falling short
Both federal and state regulations are in place to limit the number of hours a driver can be behind the wheel during any 24-hour period, but keeping an eye on all the truck drivers in the state has proven to be a daunting task, and that means millions of innocent drivers are placed at risk every day. When you lose a loved one to a car accident, one of the last things you may be thinking about is taking the responsible party to court. Dealing with the tragic aftermath of an accident, it may seem “easier” to put the accident aside and focus on rebuilding your life. But negligence in following federal and state regulations is a serious issue, and pursuing legal action is important not only for justice for the lives that were lost, but also to protect the lives of other drivers on Georgia’s roads and highways.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a trucking accident, pursuing a legal claim is important for ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve – but it’s also an important part of helping others stay safe. Roger Ghai is an experienced car accident attorney in Marietta and the surrounding area, dedicated to protecting the rights of victims and their families. Filing a lawsuit may sound intimidating, but with a skilled attorney on your side guiding you every step of the way, you can finally find the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re protecting your rights and the rights of other innocent people. Call the Law Offices of Roger Ghai at (770) 792-1000 today to schedule your personal, no-obligation consultation.