Accidents that involve huge vehicles like buses or commercial trucks can have catastrophic consequences. Victims of these accidents are often in smaller cars that are destroyed after being hit by an 80,000-pound vehicle, and no amount of safety features can completely protect motorists from the injuries that are all but inevitable.
In an article on our website, we discussed how the agencies tasked with overseeing commercial transportation companies are not taking full advantage of their power to shut down companies that are at the highest risk of causing accidents. Specifically, we look at how the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is failing to act swiftly and aggressively to close down carriers with a history of dangerous or negligent practices.
Since 2010, the FMCSA has shut down more than 100 bus and trucking companies that were in violation of safety practices and laws. While this is significantly more than the agency had closed down in the years before, the number of non-compliant companies that are still operating vehicles all across the U.S. remains far too high.
Some of the ways that companies are violating safety rules on a regular basis include:
- Hiring untrained or unqualified drivers
- Violating Hours-of-Service regulations
- Neglecting vehicle maintenance
There are more than 500,000 bus and truck companies that are required to comply with state and federal transportation regulations. However, as we note in our article, there are just 350 inspectors tasked with monitoring these companies. Quite simply, there are not enough resources to identify and remove unsafe vehicles or companies from operation in a timely manner.
Unfortunately, many dangerous companies are not cited for reckless practices until after an accident occurs. Even then, they may only be fined or temporarily suspended.
Unless and until these companies are adequately monitored and penalized, it is often left up to the victims to take action and hold them accountable. Filing a lawsuit after a bus or truck accident in Georgia can be an effective way of legally establishing responsibility and getting compensation to the victims who were injured or killed as a result of negligent or reckless practices.