Some of the most horrendous car crashes involve passenger cars and commercial trucks.
Because of their massive weight, (some trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds), accidents involving “big rigs” and passenger cars frequently cause catastrophic injuries or even death for those riding in passenger cars.
This inherent risk of serious injury and death to so many people —those using the roads and the truck drivers themselves—is the main reason why truck drivers and trucking companies are heavily regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA issues and enforces regulations governing all aspects of the trucking industry.
Unfortunately, not all trucking companies always obey the rules.
Well, for one thing, compliance is expensive. Among other things, the rules: require trucking fleets to be kept in good working order, they limit driving hours for truckers, impose rest periods and truck weight restrictions, require trucking companies to train their employees, and more.
All of this costs money and time.
So, by disobeying the laws, some trucking companies save themselves some money.
They may save money, but they do so at a terrible cost — innocent lives—whenever these “cost cuts” result in, or contribute to, truck crashes.
Here are just 4 ways in which trucking companies negligently cause truck crashes.
- Falsifying records
FMCSA regulations restrict how long truck drivers can drive. The regulations require truck drivers and trucking companies to keep accurate and detailed logs on driving hours, fleet maintenance, and other activities.
Unfortunately, trucking companies make more money by making as many deliveries as possible in the shortest amount of time. And truck drivers get paid more the longer they drive.
The result of these conflicting pressures?
Some trucking companies encourage drivers to violate the regulations and falsify their records as to both maintenance and driving time.
Such violations of the law can lead to trucking accidents caused by any number of factors related to driver fatigue and/or improperly maintained trucks.
- Hiring, or Not Firing, Reckless Truck Drivers
Another way in which trucking companies negligently cause truck accidents is through their hiring and retention process. Some companies hire, and keep, negligent employees.
The law requires trucking companies to hire responsible drivers.
But this doesn’t always happen.
Some trucking companies give in to the pressure of needing more drivers so they can get deliveries made and earn more money. Some do this by hiring anyone —even truck drivers who don’t have a commercial license, or who do have a history of speeding or drunk driving. Other trucking companies keep negligent employees even after they have been cited for serious driving infractions like drunk or distracted driving in order to keep their trucks on the road.
- Overloading Trucks
As noted above, federal regulations govern almost every aspect of the trucking industry —including a truck’s weight requirements.
Each commercial truck has a specific weight that the federal government has determined is safe for it to haul.
But, again, in the interests of making more money, some trucking companies practice overloading trucks.
While some trucks can carry more than the legal limit, overloading can contribute to truck crashes. Improperly loaded or overloaded trucks can prevent a truck from being able to slow down, change directions or even stop safely. Overloading can also cause trucks to tip over.
- Not Properly Training Employees
As noted above, trucking companies are responsible for hiring and retaining competent and safe truck drivers. A large part of this is not only the pre-screening process before hiring an employee, but what the company does after the employee is hired.
In the trucking industry, it is imperative that all truck drivers be properly trained. Truck drivers that do not have proper training in handling big rigs in all types of weather and under all conditions, pose a danger to themselves and others.
Yet this does not always happen.
Some companies provide little or no training. Others refuse to conduct test-drives with new employees. Regardless of the exact way in which the trucking company fails to properly train its employees, the result is the same: a cataclysmic crash that causes serious injury or takes innocent lives.
These are only 4 examples of negligent acts by trucking companies that can cause or contribute to a truck crash. There are plenty more. If you have been involved in an accident with a big rig, it is important that you obtain experienced counsel right away.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Cumming, Georgia.
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C., are here to help you. We serve clients in Atlanta, and in several counties throughout Georgia, including: Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, and Paulding County, among others. To find out how we can help you, call us at: 770-888-7707. Or contact us here.