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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.

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Trucking far from ‘under-regulated’: Reactions to CNBC’s ‘Collision course’ series

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.

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