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ATA explores blame for serious truck accidents

Accidents happen. We learn this phrase from childhood, but what does it really mean? On a practical level, our society understands that human error will always exist in every endeavor that we attempt repeatedly. Human error is a concept recognizing that no matter how hard we try to perfect a given process, we will unintentionally stray from perfection at various times for any number of reasons.

Unfortunately, accidents happen on America's roads every day. No matter how hard governmental regulators, auto manufacturers and motorists try to keep drivers and passengers safe, accidents happen. We cannot fully prevent accidents from happening as human error will always be present on the roads. But we can reduce the rates by which human error leads to car accidents, truck accidents and other vehicle collisions.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) are attempting to reduce serious and fatal truck accident rates in particular by analyzing studies that explore the underlying causes of the human errors that lead to crashes. In its latest report, the ATA asserts that the majority of serious and fatal truck accidents are caused by human errors on the part of non-truck drivers.

In particular, these serious or fatal crashes are most often caused by passenger vehicle motorists who fail to stay in their lanes, speed, drive while distracted or drive in other aggressive ways. This report suggests that governmental regulators and safety advocates should spend more resources addressing the human errors caused by motorists than by truckers when attempting to address serious and fatal truck accident rates.

Of course, it is important to remember that such reports can be biased, especially when the researchers represent the trucking industry. Therefore, this report in particular may be viewed with more than a little skepticism.

Source: Transport Topics, "Automobile Drivers Often at Fault in Truck-Involved Crashes, ATA Says," Feb. 12, 2013

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