13 comments to “Big Trucks, Big Bucks”

  1. Ann Williams

    Yes, the statistics are flawed given most non-commercial drivers are charged under Federal Motor Carrier regulations to inflate the statistics and accident reports with false damage are submitted along with them as I recently discovered. Not only are they ruining innocent people’s lives, but those innocent people who have actually done nothing wrong are losing their jobs and are prevented from gaining employment and the freedom to travel and handle every day necessities just to satisfy statistic quotas for this corrupt program. This has to stop.

  2. Don Smith

    Well the people who write this stuff need to get all the facts before they start telling half truths and full lies. The numbers they started out with they seemed to have left out the fact that 8 out 10 wrecks involving a car and big truck the car is at fault.They never think that maybe the problem isn’t the 18 wheelers. I guess they don’t want to put more restriction on themselves. It’s just easier to say its someone else’s fault and responsibility and they are just victoms. Oh more restrictions on people in cars,like making it harder to get a lic., harder to keep it once you get a ticket, make the fines higher.

  3. Sandra Lance

    Thank you for all the time and attention to detail with this article. I am sharing and forwarding to all I can think of.
    Speed and inattention was the main cause in the death of my daughter which took place in front of her 8 and 10 year old children. We will forever be changed because of a decision to “get it there faster”.

  4. Justin VanAtta

    It is a common misconception that the law requires truck drivers to take 34 hours of rest every eight days, but this is not true and has never been true. The eight days are a rolling total and drivers have the option to reset those hours by taking 34 hours off. This is not required however, as the driver may simply use the hours today that he or she used eight days ago. It is therefore possible to work continuously without ever getting a day off, and in the US, many companies require this of their drivers.

  5. Jackie Novak

    Thank you for an interesting article. As the mother of someone who was sitting in stopped traffic and was killed by a truck driver who fell asleep, I’m grateful the information is getting out there and that there is discussion about it. I personally am related to several truck drivers but that doesn’t mean I don’t get to complain about the ones who are on the road well past their HOS, who are overworked and underpaid. Just because you drive a truck doesn’t mean that there aren’t problems with the rules and the breaking of rules by other truck drivers. And pointing the finger at stupid car drivers isn’t the answer. As the old adage goes, if all your friends were jumping off a bridge, would you? Just because there are idiots driving cars doesn’t mean that we should let this go. I’d much rather my son had been rearended by a Kia than a 50,000 pound truck. Maybe he and the four other people killed by that one driver would still be alive. And yes, the insurance industry is a horrible mess and they take advantage of everyone, not just truck drivers. That doesn’t change the fact that one of the young people who did survive in my son’s crash has over $300,000 in medical bills hanging over her head because that particular company only had $1 million in coverage. That driver killed five people, gave this young lady a traumatic brain injury and so much physical damage that she’ll never be employable, plus injured 14 others, plus damaged a bridge, other vehicles, took out a large stretch of guardrail when he dragged my son and his girlfriend through it. Nobody is saying all truck drivers are bad but we have to fix the problems we see in the industry. Interestingly, I had a long discussion with three drivers who had to deliver a double 33 to Washington and they all said the same thing: They’re dangerous, time consuming and they would quit if they were forced to drive them. We’re not just survivors or loved ones who are saying these things. We’re fighting for the approximately 600 truck drivers who are killed EVERY SINGLE YEAR! Since 1999, almost 6,000 US soldiers were killed. Since 1999, almost 10,000 truck drivers were killed in this country. There’s definitely something wrong with an industry that lets that many of its employees die every year without trying to change things!!! Look at the numbers: Are you truck drivers getting a salary even comparable to the money that they’re throwing at the government? And think about how much money they must be making to throw that much money around. Instead of saying things like “what about the car drivers” and “you wouldn’t have anything if it weren’t for truck drivers” we should be having an honest dialogue about how we can fix this industry for everyone involved. Because honestly, I have nothing BECAUSE of a truck driver!

  6. joan Claybrook

    We are so appreciative of the resources you put into this article and your diligence in
    speaking to so many of the truck crash victims. The article comes at a critical time
    as the FY2016 transportation appropriations bill and the multi-year surface transportation
    authorization bill will be moving through Congress in the next few weeks. These are the
    bills that are the vehicles being used by the trucking industry to move the anti-safety
    riders.

    Again–your article is such an important contribution to the debate on truck safety and the
    growing and seemingly limitless influence of special trucking interests in Congress at the
    ‘shocking peril of public safety.

    Joan Claybrook, former Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
    U.S. Department of Transportation

  7. Kim

    Unfortunately your article only explains a small portion of trucking and has a huge generalization about the industry as a whole. Using bigger and longer trucks is dangerous. Im definitely against that. But the 34 hour restart and the HOS needs to be changed. Its easy for people who sit behind a desk and have not driven a teuck a day in their lofe make up these silly rules. People who work regular jobs can work doubles, overtime and the such and are not regulated but when they head home they are tired and cause accidents. What about the impatient 4 wheeler (car driver) who has to speed around a big rig, cut it off, text while driving, put on makeup, watch movies, get drunk or high then get behind the wheel and cause an accident. We seem to never address the real problem. Cars are a huge problem. So the next time an article is written please bring all the facts to public eye instead of making PROFESSIONAL TRUCK DRIVERS who take their job serious and take all precautions to drive safely!

  8. Louis V. Lombardo

    This is a fine article. It shows the tragic consequences of crashes and campaign finances corrupting government to endanger all Americans here, now, and long into the future.

    People can find the shocking number of crash fatalities for each congressional district over the past decade. See http://www.careforcrashvictims.com/CrashDeathMappingTools.php

    The number of lives destroyed in each district each year may help generate some empathy — at least among voters.

  9. Peter Parker

    This is another insurance industry funded hit piece. First of all, I find it hilarious that the author of this article is hysterical about trucking company spending on lobbying. I mean I guess it’s Ok for the insurance industry to flood congress with their money but not the trucking industry. In my opinion they all should be thrown out of Washington. We also see in this article another sign of the insurance industry which is the “victim” story. There is also lying involved in this article because there is no proposal to remove the “restart provision”. They are removing the recent further unwarranted restriction on the restart provision which was not science based. We have seen the FMCSA use flimsy if not outright corrupt “studies” to supposedly justify their over-regulation of the industry. We all should be deeply concerned about a government agency run wild. They are setting up a system where you are guilty until proven innocent. They have implemented totally unfair systems of measurement and then smearing driver’s professional reputations. The best thing he did in this article is show that trucks are involved in only 10 percent of the total fatalities and only about half of those are the trucker’s fault. They are going after trucker’s because they can but it will eventually affect all drivers. The FMCSA is far more dangerous to our country than a few trucking accidents.

  10. Marianne Karth

    Thank you for raising awareness about these concerns which impact all travelers on the road. On May 4, 2013, we found out the hard way how vulnerable we were when a (probably) drowsy or distracted truck driver hit us and sent us backward into the rear of another truck and its underride guard failed so that our car went under the truck–abruptly ending the lives of our daughters in the backseat, AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13).

    We have found out that Safety is not always a priority. http://annaleahmary.com/2015/05/will-longer-trucks-make-the-roads-safer-yes-or-no/

    Our story: https://youtu.be/6LGcWc4m9VA & https://youtu.be/WPjVsWcV82g

  11. Janette

    This article is very well written and explains what is currently going on in our U.S. Congress.

    It is VITAL to contact your U.S. Senators and Congresspeople as soon as possible. If they vote to pass those extremely dangerous provisions, we MUST let them know we will NEVER vote for them again. It’s that simple.

  12. Kate Brown

    Thank you Brian Joseph for an excellent article. Educating the public about what is really going on between the trucking industry & government officials explains how these senseless tragedies happen to so many families.

    Keep up the great journalistic work!

    Kate Brown
    Gurnee, IL

  13. Laurie Higginbotham

    Thank you for the wonderful story. It is an eye opener. I am forwarding to as many people and news outlets in my area.

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