A few days ago while I was doing what I do best, changing channels, I came across a commercial for a law firm based out of Buffalo.
Unfortunately, it came as no surprise that they were promoting their services to accident victims involved in big rig truck collisions. I’ve seen them before, as I’m sure many of you have. It was pure fear-mongering at its finest and it’s been going on for years. What bothers me is that Joe Public rarely hears about the trucker who avoids a horrific accident by anticipating the bonehead move a passenger car driver is about to make. It happens all the time.
Instead, we’re blasted with headlines that almost always assume that accidents involving trucks are the trucker’s fault.
I went online and checked out a number of lawyers’ sites who specialize in trucking-related accidents. I should mention that all of the following quotes are taken from USbased Web sites. Regardless, here’s how they sell their services to potential clients.
“When a truck accident occurs, trucking companies will often send out representatives including lawyers and insurance agents to confront and intimidate the victim at their most vulnerable.” How’s that for a warm fuzzy feeling? It’s a ‘David vs. Goliath’ scare tactic.
Most sites made a point of banging off fatality and injury statistics creating a perception that every rig is a rolling death trap.
To be fair, I did come across one site that took the time to explain that many trucking accidents involving cars are in fact the car driver’s fault. It goes on to explain the number of idiots out there who don’t realize the stopping limitations of a truck. Refreshing indeed.
Here’s another quote that left me scratching my head:”For many commercial truck drivers, drug and alcohol use are simply a part of daily operation.” What are they saying? Drive a truck and you could become an addict? Unbelievable.
Finally, how about: “Alcohol use by a truck driver can cause serious impairment including poor decision-making, blurry vision, distractions and slowing reaction times.” I suppose this only happens to truckers? What a bunch of crap. It’s too bad lawyers south of the border resign themselves to using scare tactics. I suppose it’s because competition is fierce but in the end they aren’t doing our industry (on either side of the border) any favours.
– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and he can be reached at 416-510-5123.
Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry. All posts by Truck News