George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

News flash: Mainstream media hates on truckers (again)

| August 06, 2014

The industry continues a-buzz this week over the recent “in depth” report Earwig McJeevers put together for CNBC. (I may have his name wrong, but if he doesn’t have a problem with reporting information incorrectly, then neither do I.)

A sick cat garners a whole lot more public attention than the trucking industry -- unless there are videos of fiery death crashes involved.
A sick cat garners a whole lot more public attention than the trucking industry — unless there are videos of fiery death crashes involved.

Once again, the disrespectful, bottom-feeding habit of replaying fiery crash video involving fatalities has been employed. I’m sure the families are thrilled the death of their loved one is broadcast for a horse and pony show whenever someone on the news feels the need for a little shock and awe. Way to be concerned for the victims, we can sense the compassion oozing from your every pore.

There was a horrifying list of fatality numbers, all completely unrepresented by a breakdown of who is actually at fault a majority of the time. According to numbers compiled in this post by Jami Jones in Land Line, there were 3,464 fatal crashes involving large trucks in 2012. Research shows that of those 3,464 wrecks involving large trucks, 75 to 80 percent of those wrecks were not the fault of the trucker, as has been noted repeatedly here on Overdrive. That makes the actual number of fatalities faulted to the truck driver roughly 866. These numbers are based on information from 2012, when there were an estimated 10,659,380 trucks on the road.

Isn’t that handy? Took me three seconds to figure out on the calculator and I don’t even do math.

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If there needs to be a public outcry, shouldn’t the brunt of the responsibility be on those at fault a majority of the time? Oh yeah, I forgot. I’m talking about the trucking industry — no one pays attention to the fact that other people using the road have personal responsibility for causing accidents and fatalities.

Above all, the industry needs to remember they’re dealing with a general public who has a complete disconnect when it comes to understanding their lives wouldn’t be the same without the trucking industry. A large cross section of the people watching mainstream news will also make the decision to turn a portion of their life savings over to a stray cat with an eye infection because of a Sarah McLachlan song. They’re strongly influenced by fear and tragedy, and yet completely uninformed (in any positive way) about the one industry that makes life as they know it possible.

Related

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The CNBC series itself wondered why there is not a "national outcry" for more trucking regulations. As reader Dianne Vranesic put it quite simply, "'Under-regulated'? ...

Marketing is everything, and CNBC isn’t interested in giving you an unbiased news story. They’re interested in what will get the most clicks and views. This story could have been used to open a real discussion about real problems. Instead it was used to vilify an entire industry, and frankly, that’s pretty old schtick. It’s time to get some new material, folks, you’ve beat the “insanely dangerous trucker” persona to death.

Film of the savage attack at eleven.

  • roge160

    Funny this is the only place I see it .

  • Fluffy

    People are intimidated and irritated by trucks. Trucks are big and scary, they are slow, hard to see around and quite often considered a public menace ( a nessasary one ). Since many cities don’t allow trucks to come in early or park on streets, motorist find themselves competing for the same traffic lanes with the slow lumbering big rigs,which in their view,is the reason why they are late for work.
    What has changed over the years,is we have been transiting from a from a more curtious type of driver to a me first type of driver. With the popularity of NASCAR and the Fast and Furious movies, a disconnect has occurred between reality and fantasy. People are excited by the speed and seemly reckless driving and fantasize being behind the wheel of one of those cars. Unfortunately they are still living fantasy when they get behind the wheel of their own vehicles. This crosses all lines from commercial to bicycles. Trying to change people is like spitting against the wind, you are just going to get. News is a business that needs a profit and therefore needs viewers. So don’t expect them to anything but what they are, entertainment .

  • mousekiller

    That is a display of less then 1% of 1% of the drivers. Don’t paint all trucks with a wide brush. Besides when they do that they are not professional in the first place. it is the image the public see that cannot see the difference.

  • mousekiller

    You are so misled. We do pay taxes but the taxes we pay are so unjust in the amount it should be criminal. Toll are just another way to spell tax.

  • ironage

    Anti-trucking stories hit the media once a year…almost like clock-work. I’ve noticed it for over ten years now. I know it’s coming…so i’ve learned to ignore it. News outlets like CNBC will not give you both sides of ANY story. They certainly don’t when it comes to politics….so why would they when it comes to the trucking industry?

  • stevefranz

    To put this in perspective – the facts would not sell air time – it would not be “exciting” or “shocking.” That’s what the news media does best. Look at all the expose of the food industry, restaurants, insurance, airllines – you name it, the media can cook up some horrific headlines to sell air time.

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