There are times, of course, when an accident involving a semi-truck is unavoidable, such as when bad weather creates unsafe driving conditions. All too often, however, accidents occur that could easily have been avoided if the trucking company had taken precautions and avoided negligent business practices. In those situations, the fault for the accident most often rests with the company rather than with the driver.
Pressuring their drivers to break federal trucking law
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has established certain regulations that govern how long truck drivers can stay behind the wheel. Truck drivers can only drive up to 11 hours at a time, after which they must take a break from driving for a specific amount of time.
But sometimes companies are so preoccupied with meeting deadlines and making up for delays that they pressure their drivers, through incentives or otherwise, to ignore these regulations. When this happens, drivers continue driving for much longer than is safe. When drivers are exhausted or distracted, accidents occur.
Each state has their own laws that govern truck weight limit. Each model of truck has a limit to how much cargo weight it can safely bear.
These laws exist for a reason. When a company overloads a truck in order to maximize profit for a trip, it can lead to several different kinds of dangerous accidents. For example, an overladen truck puts much more pressure on the brakes, and it could have more difficulty stopping in time when needed. Increased weight also increases the likelihood of blown-out tires, which can cause the truck to swerve dangerously into other lanes.
Negligent hiring practices
If you are the hiring manager for a trucking company, there could be a lot of pressure on you to fill vacancies quickly, since unmanned routes cost the company great amounts of money. This could lead you to hire applicants and get them out onto the road as quickly as possible, without properly screening or training them.
Sometimes certain people should not receive the responsibility of driving a massive truck – which requires a completely different skillset than driving a car does. If someone has a poor driving record, or hasn’t received adequate training, then the company is putting everyone on the road at risk by sending that person out in a truck.
Trucking companies have a lot of responsibility to keep our roads safe while they carry out their important work of supplying our stores with goods. By avoiding negligent business practices, they can ensure that we all receive the food and merchandise we need while minimizing the likelihood of horrific trucking accidents on our roads.