In anticipation of growing numbers of large trucks on Georgia roads, and prompted by the death toll in two accidents on Interstate 16, state officials are planning to step up enforcement for commercial truck violations. State records show that 157 lives were lost in 16,518 accidents in which such vehicles were involved last year. Truck accidents often occur in conditions in which slow-moving or stationary traffic is encountered.
Five nursing students of the Georgia Southern University lost their lives in an April chain reaction accident in southeast Georgia involving a commercial truck. Barely a month later, a similar type of accident caused the deaths of five more motorists. Authorities expect a significant growth in truck activity in the foreseeable future. The state has budgeted an extra $10 million to enable the Department of Public Safety to employ additional officers who will be allocated to the division of commercial truck enforcement.
Even at moderate rates of speed, the weight and force of heavy vehicles typically leave occupants of passenger vehicles with catastrophic injuries or worse in collisions. In addition to traffic violations such as speeding, the enforcement program will also involve inspections of safety standard compliance, including weight limitations. Officials believe that proactive measures may limit the number of lives lost on Georgia roads.
Motorists who suffer injuries in truck accidents will likely need extensive medical care that may continue for some time. Medical expenses and lost income after severe injuries can cripple a family's finances. The same goes for the end-of-life costs for families who have lost loved ones in such accidents. By providing appropriate evidence of negligence by another party or parties, financial compensation may be pursued through the litigation of personal injury and/or wrongful death claims in a Georgia civil court.