Deadly Consequences: Investigative Report Reveals the Sobering and Dangerous Truth About Commercial Trucking
On March 14th, 2015, ABC’s 20/20, a prime-time investigative reporting program, aired an episode entitled “Deadly Impact.” The episode showcased the dangers of commercial trucking and the regular industry practice of pressuring drivers to drive under dangerous conditions. Specifically, the report focused on the industry practice of forcing drivers to operate long hours and to drive when drowsy or fatigued.
The episode discussed a recent commercial trucking accident that garnered national media attention. The accident was, and still is, in the medial limelight because it caused critical injuries to renowned comedian and television star Tracy Morgan. It also killed another well-known comedian who was riding in a limo-bus with Morgan.
The limo-bus that Morgan was riding in was struck from behind at high speed by a Wal-Mart commercial truck. The investigation revealed that the truck driver had driven 700 miles from his home to a Wal-Mart distribution center before even starting the haul. The report also suggested that the driver did not wait the mandatory rest period before staring the haul which contributed to the accident.
The program also went behind the scenes with a commercial truck driver. The driver discussed the pressure to hit deadlines and deliver loads on time. According to the driver, the dispatchers who oversee the hauls only care about delivering product on time and that this objective is more important than the safety of the truck drivers and others on the road.
The program also showed startling video of the truck driver contacting his dispatcher to notify him that he was too tired and fatigued to drive safely. The dispatcher dismissed his concerns. When the driver finally said it was too dangerous and he was putting others at risk, the dispatcher is heard saying don’t give me that “dramatic bull**it.” The dispatcher then tells the truck driver if he has to send another driver out to finish the haul that he won’t be paid and will have to explain to his wife why he didn’t make any money that week.
The program provided a small glimpse into the realities of commercial trucking and the often deadly consequences. Often times, commercial trucking companies put the safety of innocent drivers below making profits and moving products. If you or someone you know was injured in a commercial trucking accident, contact the Piccuta Law Group, LLP today. Our attorneys handle accidents involving commercial trucks and will provide a consultation at no cost.