A fully loaded truck weighs about 25 times as much as a regular passenger vehicle. When a truck crashes into a car, the results can be devastating for you and your passengers. That’s why state and federal regulations require special training for truck drivers.
When trucking companies try to save money by cutting corners, they are endangering the lives of everyone on the road. Hiring unqualified drivers, expecting drivers to work too many hours, and failing to perform necessary repairs in a timely manner are some of the most dangerous and irresponsible things trucking companies do.
Experience is Crucial
Driving a big rig truck is a serious responsibility that requires experience and maturity. Over time, truck drivers learn how to safely respond to different types of hazardous situations. Poor weather, sudden changes in traffic flow, and road hazards are some of the issues they face on a daily basis.
Before hiring a driver and putting them in charge of a vehicle weighing up to 80,000 pounds, trucking companies should make sure their employees are fully trained, experienced, and they have a clean driving record. It’s also important to check a driver’s DMV records regularly to confirm that they haven’t gotten too many recent infractions.
Hours of Service Violations
Truckers need to be alert and ready to respond to a hazard at any moment. That’s why fatigued truckers pose a is serious risk to other drivers. To prevent truck drivers from working too many hours, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established strict hours of service regulations. FMCSA hours of service laws dictate the maximum number of hours that truck drivers are allowed to drive per day and per week.
Although carriers face fines, downgraded safety ratings, and criminal penalties for allowing their drivers to work too many hours, many trucking companies provide bonuses and other perks for the number of miles they drive. This encourages drivers to violate hours of service rules and engage in unsafe driving practices that put other drivers in danger such as speeding, tailgating, and making careless lane changes.
Poor Truck Maintenance
Another way trucking companies try to save money is by failing to provide regular maintenance for their vehicles. Trucking companies are required to keep records for all maintenance and inspections. But they will often ignore problems and fail to remove a defective truck from service to provide the necessary repairs. These shortsighted practices create serious hazards that may result in deadly crashes.
Some of the most serious issues that trucking companies overlook include:
- Worn out or poorly functioning brakes
- A malfunctioning steering mechanism
- Inoperable windshield wipers and worn-out wiper blades
- Broken mirrors
- Underinflated and worn-down tires
- Defective couplings that could cause a runaway trailer
- Broken headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turning signals
Poorly Loaded Trucks
Truck drivers are responsible for making sure their trucks are properly loaded to prevent accidents. It’s essential for trucking companies to train their drivers on safe loading practices and give their drivers the authority to oversee the loading process.
But many trucks are loaded by several different freight haulers at multiple locations. Unrealistic schedules and poor management practices allow trucks to be loaded in a haphazard manner, causing the following types of dangerous conditions:
- Poorly stacked trucks with a high center of gravity that can lead to rollovers.
- Uneven loads that can make braking more difficult and cause jackknife accidents.
- Unsecured or improperly covered loads may fall off the truck and cause road hazards.
Your Truck Accident Attorney Charleston, SC
Trucking companies are covered by big insurance companies who will do everything they can to avoid giving you a fair settlement. Julian Allen is a skilled truck accident attorney who isn’t afraid to take on the big insurance companies.
At Allen Law, we’ll fight to get you a settlement that will cover all your medical expenses.
Call (843) 882-5005 today and schedule a FREE consultation. We’re on your side.