Trucking is essential to the national economy. Virtually every product sold is transported by truck. Truck drivers, overworked and underpaid, are the heroes of country music ballads. Popular culture holds them up as rough-hewn “knights of the road,” and many are.
But trucking is also a major highway safety hazard. As a hub of transportation in the Southeast, Georgia ranks among the top five states in the nation in the number of fatalities due to crashes of large trucks, ranking just behind California, Texas and Florida. In 2003, the most recent year for which data are available, there were 208 fatalities in large truck crashes in Georgia, accounting for 9.1 percent of all traffic fatalities in our state. The Georgia experience is consistent with the nation. In 2003, one out of nine traffic fatalities in the United States involved large trucks. In that year, 457,000 large trucks were involved in traffic crashes in the United States; 4,669 were involved in fatal crashes. A total of 4,986 people died (12 percent of all the traffic fatalities) and an additional 122,000 were injured.
Fatality Accident Reporting System (FARS), National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov (viewed May 1, 2005).
Traffic Safety Fact, 2003 Data, Large Trucks, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/TSF2003/809763.pdf (viewed May 1, 2005).
The Shigley Law Firm represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a “SuperLawyer” in Atlanta Magazine and one of the “Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks).