Tractor-trailer accidents tend to be newsworthy for a number of reasons. They are often deadly, they usually involve several smaller vehicles and the aftermath can block highway traffic for entire days. Sadly, though, truck accidents rarely stay in the news for very long. Too often, they are simply accepted as unavoidable.
Earlier this month, we wrote about the immediate dangers many workers still face on the job. Construction accidents and manufacturing-related injuries are a common occurrence; even as states have begun shrinking their workers' compensation programs and gutting protections for injured workers.
More than a year ago, when officials from General Motors were called to testify before congress, the company disclosed that at least 13 deaths had been tied to faulty ignition switches. This was the fatal defect that sometimes cut power to the engines of running vehicles and disabled air bags and other safety features. It was also revealed that a significant number of employees had known about the defect for a decade or more but failed to fix or report it.
Starting in the early years of the 20th century, the United States really began a push toward improving workplace safety. Too many workers had been maimed or killed in preventable workplace accidents and fires. In many of these incidents, management often failed to invest in even basic safety precautions because it would lower their profits.