Accidents Caused by Trucking Company Negligence
Truck drivers log thousands of miles each year as they cross the United States, delivering millions of packages as well as equipment, large items like mobile homes, and other items. In the process of these deliveries, 18-wheelers are often loaded down with thousands of pounds of cargo. While these trucks are a very important part of the shipping industry, they can also be highly dangerous on the roads.
Due to the size of 18-wheelers and their cargo, wrecks that involve these vehicles are catastrophic and often deadly. While accidents with 18-wheelers may be the fault of a reckless car driver, a defect with the truck itself, or a negligent truck driver, another surprising source of trucking accidents are caused by the companies that own the vehicles and employ the drivers.
First, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, limits the amount of time that truck drivers can travel in their 18-wheelers for business each day. This is called the hours of service. This is meant to keep sleepy drivers off the road so that they do not put other vehicles and their inhabitants in danger. In some cases, trucking companies can turn the other way when their drivers violate these hours of service, or they can force their drivers to go over the hours of service in order go ship things faster. Either way, the trucking company can cause their truck drivers to be a roadway hazard.
Another, possibly deadly, mistake that trucking companies can make is negligent hiring. With negligent hiring, the company does not do its due diligence in looking over a potential driver’s record before hiring him or her. An applicant may have safety violations in his or her record that would make the person an undesirable employee. For instance, if a driver already has a record for reckless driving and has been fired for his or her actions, another trucking company should avoid giving the driver the authority to perform such actions again.
Next, failure to train is another problem that can arise in the trucking industry. As the shipping industry is growing from online shopping, many trucking companies are having to hire new drivers to handle the increasing demand. However, as driving 18-wheelers require precision and skill to stay safe on the road, new drivers need training to give them the skill set necessary to safely handle such a large, powerful vehicle. However, trucking companies may refuse to spend time and manpower on training, which can put a hazardous, inexperienced driver on the road.
Lastly, trucking companies are responsible for maintaining their fleet of vehicles so that they do not become dangerous, runaway 18-wheelers. Trucks need regular engine examinations, as well as brake checks to keep them in working order. If trucking companies decide to save funds by not getting this items replaced, it can eventually cost someone’s life.