Employer Negligence as Contributing Factor to Truck Accidents

Despite the threats posed by 18-wheelers or big rigs on roads and highways, truck operation will never cease because of the major contribution these huge vehicles make in the U.S. economy. All the government can do is create and strictly enforce laws that will ensure the safe operation of trucks, like: qualification of drivers; use of truck parts, like brakes and tires that comply with DOT standards; maximum hours of service (HOS) that a driver can operate a truck; and, maintenance of a record of regular truck inspection and maintenance.

Obviously, however, the laws and their strict implementation are not enough as evidenced by the half a million truck accidents that cause 3,964 deaths and 95,000 injuries in 2013 alone.

Currently, there are about 2 million 18-wheelers operating in the U.S. Not all of these are operated, however, due to the lack of qualified drivers which, according to the American Trucking Associations, is at 48,000. With thousands of deliveries to complete every day, many operators require drivers to put in extra hours; drivers, on their part, push themselves to the limit, driving cross counties despite feeling fatigued and lacking sleep just so they can cover more road miles for a higher pay.

Besides allowing drivers and, sometimes, even forcing them to violate the HOS mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), some operators (especially operators of small trucking firms) resort to illegal means, specifically, by hiring very young and unskilled drivers, failing to train those hired, requiring their drivers to drive longer than the allowed number of service and then asking them to alter the number of hours they have rendered in log book; and, failing to properly screen applicants for past records or driving violations – all these just to get as many job orders as they can and have these orders finished on time.

According to Tucson personal injury attorneys, trucking companies have the legal responsibility of ensuring that safety standards in regards to employees and vehicles are strictly upheld, as this will greatly affect the safety of other motorists and everyone else on the road. If and when trucking companies fail to uphold these standards, then they can be held financially responsible for their gross negligence.

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