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Why Do Train Derailments Get All the Attention, While Truck Crashes Are Ignored? Unraveling the Media Bias

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

Train derailments and railroad accidents are undoubtedly tragic, capturing national media attention due to their high-speed impact, extensive damage, injuries, and fatalities. However, it raises the question of why trucking accidents, with their own share of devastation, receive less coverage. Despite the fact that railroads experience fewer incidents compared to semi-trucks on the roads, the media’s spotlight seems to be skewed.

Trucks: The Unsung Carriers of Hazardous Materials

While railroads were once the primary means of transporting hazardous materials, trucks have now taken up the mantle, accounting for twice as many hazardous material shipments as trains. Surprisingly, between 1975 and 2021, trucks hauling hazardous materials caused 380 fatalities, while trains caused just 23.

Urban Impact: Trucks vs. Trains

Truck accidents are not just more frequent; they also inflict more damage and fatalities due to their presence on highways, often in densely populated urban areas. In contrast, most train accidents occur in remote locations, limiting their human impact despite potential hazardous material spills.

Regulations and Scrutiny

With a history of deadly incidents, regulations governing the transportation of hazardous materials have evolved significantly. After the 9/11 attacks, cities implemented special routes for trucks carrying hazardous materials to minimize risks in high-population areas. Meanwhile, train derailments prompt lawmakers to explore expensive remedies like advanced braking systems and heat sensors, increasing rail shipping costs and potentially pushing more hazardous materials onto semi-trucks.

Contact Us for Support

Truck accidents may not garner the attention they deserve, but when they occur, their impact can be life-changing. If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, don’t face the legal complexities alone. Reach out to a Manhattan truck accident attorney from Pottroff & Karlin, LLC. We understand the above-average rate of truck accidents in the area and are here to help. Schedule a free consultation by calling (785) 539-4656 or filling out our online form. Let us fight for your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.


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