North Carolina Truck Accident Attorney Richard Flexner Weighs in on News Report about Asleep at the Wheel Drivers

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The Wilmington, NC personal injury lawyer at Richard Flexner Law Offices says fatigued driving is a serious problem in the trucking industry.

There’s no doubt in my mind that lives are saved when the government limits the number of hours truck drivers can spend behind the wheel.

North Carolina personal injury lawyer Richard Flexner today said a recent news report featuring an interview with a parent whose son died in an accident involving a fatigued truck driver illustrates how devastating such accidents can be for family members.

Flexner commented on a Jan. 29 WSOCTV.com report titled “9 Investigated: NC mom fights against fatigued truckers after son’s death.”

Attorney Flexner added that North Carolina drivers should watch the news report to understand how dangerous big trucks can be, especially when regulations are lax.

“People should know that our lawmakers are doing what the trucking industry wants. They’re not following the advice of truck safety advocates,” said Flexner, an attorney at Richard Flexner Law Offices with more than 35 years’ experience. “Unfortunately, Congress has approved a proposal to let truckers drive longer hours with fewer breaks, as the story indicates. As a lawyer who has worked with families who have lost loved ones, I understand the importance of creating strong regulations for the trucking industry. There’s no doubt in my mind that lives are saved when the government limits the number of hours truck drivers can spend behind the wheel.”

According to the WSOCTV.com report, the son of Jackie Novak of North Carolina and four others were killed in a crash on Interstate 26 in Hendersonville, NC on Oct. 24, 2010. Since the crash, which involved a trucker who fell asleep at the wheel, Novak has been an advocate of truck safety. WSOCTV.com reports that she is a member of Truck Safety Coalition, a group that strives to reduce truck-related accidents.

Congress approved a proposal allowing truckers to drive 82 hours a week instead of 70, despite protests by Truck Safety Coalition, according to the news report. Additionally, truckers now are not required to get two night’s sleep in a row before starting their work week, the report states.

Flexner applauds the efforts of people like Novak and said his heart goes out to her.

“Wrongful death cases are among the most difficult ones we handle from an emotional standpoint,” Flexner said. “We know no amount of money can make the pain go away, but it’s important to send a strong message to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future. One of the most upsetting elements of these cases is that they could have been prevented.”

According to the WSOCTV.com report, trucking industry representatives argue the old regulations were too costly for trucking companies. Flexner said he’s not surprised by the response from trucking businesses.

“It’s another example of big companies putting their profits ahead of safety,” Flexner said. “When regulations are loosened, companies see that as a license to do whatever they want. They might put pressure on a driver to drive the maximum amount of hours allowed, or they might turn a blind eye to drivers who violate these rules. In this type of environment, highway safety is severely compromised.”

Flexner said anyone who is injured or families who lose loved ones should seek the advice of legal counsel as soon as possible. He added that an attorney can represent victims and their families and hold the negligent trucking companies accountable.

About Richard Flexner Law Offices
For over 35 years, attorney Richard Flexner has fought diligently to protect the rights of personal injury victims and families who have lost loved ones in Wilmington and across North Carolina. In addition to handling cases involving fatigued truck drivers, car accidents and other matters involving personal injury and wrongful death, Flexner represents North Carolinians who need assistance with workers’ compensation claims. Flexner serves New Hanover County, Brunswick County, Pender County and all of North Carolina. He is a member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice.

If you were injured, or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident, call 800-FLEXNER (800-353-9637) today for a free case consultation.

Richard Flexner Law Offices
3805 Oleander Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403
http://www.getflexner.com

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