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Ex-trucking exec: safety changes urgently needed, part 2

Our post last week referenced one Howard Abramson, who we described as “a tested industry veteran who operated at the apex of power during the years he served as an executive with the American Trucking Associations, the nation’s largest industry advocacy group.”

As we noted in that post, Abramson is shooting some condemnatory salvos off in the direction of both the U.S. Congress and the industry he once represented. He accuses the former of basically abdicating its safety oversight duties of the industry and the latter of acting irresponsibly and imperiling the public’s safety.

Abramson’s barbs aimed at what he deems the trucking industry’s problematic safety record appear in a recent New York Times piece.

Here’s one well-thrown dart: Reportedly, more people could die in the United States within 2015 alone from track accident-related injuries than were killed in all the domestic airplane crashes that have occurred within the past 45 years.

And here’s another: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posits that commercial bus and truck accidents cost the nation about $99 billion annually.

And now for the trifecta: The National Transportation Safety Bureau states that about one of every eight fatal accidents that occurred on national roadways during 2013 (the most recent year for which relevant data are available) involved large trucks, notwithstanding that those vehicles account for less than one of every 10 miles driven in the U.S.

The U.S. Congress needs to crack down on the trucking industry, says Abramson, soon and in resounding fashion. If it doesn’t, bad accidents “are going to continue to happen.”

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