Channel 19

Todd Dills

Citizen to accident lawyers: Lighten up on anti-truck ads

| September 28, 2011

“How many times a day do you hear on TV ads from lawyers making statements such as, ‘big trucks can cause serious injuries?'” So asked a reader, Bill Hughes, of the Tennessean newspaper, based in my home base of Nashville. I know the folks he’s talking about, of course, as I’m sure do you in whatever television market you happen to be.

Despite the real message such ads deliver — that truckers and trucking companies can unfortunately be easy legal targets — Hughes’ letter takes issue with the tarring and feathering the ads give the industry driver community in total by implication. “Truck drivers are by far the safest drivers on the highways, doing a job that all Americans depend on,” he notes. “I think it’s high time that these lawyers lighten up on their ads involving the truckers.”

High time somebody said as much, if you ask me.

If only the ads contained “victim” testimony, notes one commenter on the letter, calling herself “Witch_Doctor”: “… Due to an accident I was involved in, I received $666,000, and my attorney, Mr. A., received his cut of $333,000 for his/her 85 hours of work, most done by his secretary, while not suffering one ounce of pain.”

Read — and comment on — Hughes full letter.

  • Marc Mayfield

    Thanks, Todd. I added this to their discussion knowing that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink, and that an ambulance chaser isn’t going to pay attention anyway. Reminds me of “Call Saul” in Breaking Bad.

    Here are some statistics for on-highway truck-involved accidents:
    American Automobile Association (2002), not exactly a pro-trucking organization, 70% car driver at fault.
    U.S. Department of Transportation (2002), 70% car driver at fault.
    University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (1999), 70% car drivers at fault.
    Ontario Ministry of Transportation (2001), 72% car driver at fault; OMT (1997), 71.6% car driver at fault.
    Washington State Patrol (2002),76% car driver at fault.

    I don’t have any newer data, but I’d guess that the numbers have been consistent over the years.

    Marc Mayfield — Million Mile Safe Driver and author, In The Driver’s Seat–Interstate Trucking, a Journey.

  • Marc Mayfield

    oops — forgot to edit out the plug

  • Todd Dills

    Thanks for the feedback, Marc, plug and all. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.