Trucking companies are just like any other business: they want to make money. Unfortunately, some of these companies are so focused on turning a profit that they turn away from responsible business practices in an attempt to save some money.
Ideally, these companies would be shut down as soon as possible by the agencies that set and enforce state and federal trucking regulations. However, as we discussed in this article on our website, that doesn’t always happen. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been urged to make changes that make it easier to shut down unsafe trucking companies, and it appears as though the FMCSA is working to make these changes.
Recently, the FMCSA reported that it has shut down a trucking company with a very troubling history. Over the course of an investigation, it was discovered that the trucking company:
- Failed to maintain records for drivers
- Failed to enforce hours-of-service regulations
- Hired unqualified, unlicensed commercial drivers
- Did not test drivers for drug or alcohol use
- Neglected inspection, maintenance and repair of trucks
- Had unsafe vehicles with defects
- Violated size and equipment restrictions
Sadly, these are not uncommon violations that the FMCSA sees when it investigates trucking companies. Too often, however, companies are not penalized harshly enough or quickly enough to prompt meaningful changes in compliance in time to prevent accidents.
Victims of truck accidents should be aware that there are negligent, reckless trucking companies that allow unsafe vehicles or operators on the road. This can be crucial to understand as it could mean that the trucking company can be held liable for any damages suffered in an accident.
When the trucking company is named in a lawsuit, as opposed to a single driver, there is the potential for higher payments and penalties that may be more effective at addressing system-wide issues. Victims have the right to pursue maximum compensation after a crash, and discussing a case with an attorney who is familiar with the unique factors involved in trucking accidents can be crucial when seeking a satisfactory resolution.
Source: Truckinginfo.com, “FMCSA Shuts Down Carrier for Safety Violations,” Feb. 12, 2015