Commercial truck thefts have spiked across the country, including Georgia, and the implications for safety are enormous.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Georgia along with Texas, California, New Jersey, Illinois and Florida continues to be at a high risk for such heists. The number of such thefts increased dramatically during the same period from 2007 to 2008. For instance, when you consider the value of goods, 2009 saw truckloads worth $487 million stolen, as compared to the $290 million worth stolen in 2008.
The biggest possible explanation for this increase in heists seems to be the weak economy that’s pushing amateurs into crime. This is also corroborated by the fact that most cargo heists seem to involve loads of consumer goods, electronics, clothing and food.
These heists have numerous implications for consumers, as well as motorist safety. The health and safety of consumers can be threatened when stolen, inactive, or even worse, deteriorated pharmaceutical drugs from a stolen truck make it into the market and reach consumers. Last year, a tractor trailer carrying about $8.8 million worth of pharmaceutical drugs was swiped from a truck stop in Temple. The driver had left the rig unintended for a while at a truck stop. Also last year, another refrigerator truck carrying $11 million worth of insulin vials was stolen in North Carolina at a truck stop. As soon as the theft came to light, the Food and Drug Administration and the insulin manufacturer Novo Nordisk, alerted pharmacies and health care professionals about the heist, and advised them to monitor their stocks. In spite of these precautions, several people in Texas and Kentucky fell sick after they used inactive insulin from stolen vials.
As truck accident lawyers in Atlanta, we are also concerned about the risk from speeding criminals who have very little experience and no training in operating a tractor trailer rig. Also, consider the fact that these criminals are likely to be speeding to get away with the cargo, and there is a high possibility of accidents. Besides, truckers may face the risk of violence and assaults during a heist.
Trucking companies need to address these issues, not just from a financial loss standpoint, but also in terms of the risks to trucker, motorist and consumer safety.