The National Transportation Safety Board (the “NTSB”) recently released a “wish list” of four transportation safety improvements for 2015. Among these items is the improvement of safety in the commercial trucking industry. The press release cites various reasons for its recent initiative, including the Agency’s observations resulting from its various accident investigations. The organization is hoping that these safety pronouncements will serve as a “road map” for legislators and policy makers throughout the country. This is good news for drivers throughout the nation, including those on Atlanta roadways.
According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia, Fulton County experienced the highest number of fatalities on highways within the state in 2011. Perhaps the NTSB’s recent announcement, coupled with many state laws aimed at improving roadway safety, will cause the number of accidents and fatalities involving cars and trucks to decrease significantly. Despite these efforts, many people are injured in vehicle accidents, truck or otherwise. Depending on the circumstances, a person who has sustained injuries may be entitled to recover damages for any resulting pain and suffering. To find out if you are eligible to a recovery, you are strongly encouraged to reach out to an experienced injury attorney from the local Atlanta area. Counsel who is fully familiar with the area laws and procedures would be best positioned to assess your case and prepare an effective strategy.
Accidents involving commercial trucks are of particular concern. Due to the vehicle’s sheer size and weight, such accidents tend to cause massive damage and life-threatening injuries, if not death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2013, there were 3,964 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks, representing a 0.5% increase over 2012. Further data reveals the cause of vehicle accidents in general, suggesting that in 2012, an estimated one in 10 drivers in fatal crashes were distracted, and in approximately a third of these incidents, a driver was under the influence of alcohol.
It seems that the state of Georgia is already doing its part to improve safety on its roadways by way of highway safety laws. For instance, Georgia’s state code includes the following provisions:
1) DUI and Impaired Driving laws,
2) Seat Belt laws,
3) The Teenage and Adult Responsibility Act, which changes the way young motorists earn and maintain the privilege of driving by providing a controlled means for new drivers to gain experience and by reducing high-risk driving situations,
4) The Pickup Truck Law, under which pickup truck drivers must wear safety belts while in their vehicles,
5) The Move Over Law, which requires drivers to move over for emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road and keeps traffic violators and officers safe from accidents with passing vehicles,
6) The Texting Ban Law/Teen Cell Phone Ban, which is an effort to prevent driver distraction-related crashes, and
7) Joshua’s Law, under which 16-year-olds must complete an approved driver education program in order to receive their licenses.
Despite these efforts, there continue to be many truck and car accidents on local roadways each year. People injured in these accidents should be aware of the laws and any avenue of legal relief available to them. To find out if you can recover for an accident-related injury, it is important to contact a experienced injury attorney as soon as possible. Stephen M. Ozcomert has over 20 years of experience handling truck accident cases, representing individuals who have been injured as a result of negligent driving in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. Call us today at (404)-370-1000 to schedule your free initial consultation, or you can reach us through our website.
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