Trucking Company Negligence and Accidents

When truck accidents happen, it is easy to put the blame on the truck drivers. After all, they are the ones controlling the trucks, and they should take extra care in doing so because of the fact that trucks can cause more dangerous accidents compared to other vehicles.

But you should not be too quick to judge. According to the website of these truck accident lawyers, the company that hired the driver and other parties can be partially at fault, so they may also be held accountable.

Abusive Trucking Hours

One instance where a party other than the driver can be held liable is when the trucking company has been known to abuse its drivers. Drivers can be abused by giving them unrealistic delivery quotas and forcing them to work in longer hours. The drivers may end up relying on reckless or negligent driving behaviors just to meet expectations. So, in a way, the driver is not the only one to blame when an accident occurs, because it can be argued that the driver will not rely on these behaviors in the first place if the employer is not abusive.

Negligent Hiring Processes

The website of Ravid & Associates, P.C. has enumerated various ways on how a trucking company can be negligent, and one of them is negligent hiring. When you think about it, this is understandable. Trucking companies should be responsible enough to screen and filter driver applications in a way that removes those who have driving offense records, for obvious safety reasons.

If it has been proven that they have failed to use the proper procedures in their hiring process, they may be held accountable for accidents.

Unsafe Trucking Practices

Trucks are some of the biggest and heaviest vehicles on the road, so it is important to ensure that they are not going to be involved in accidents. Having safe trucking practices helps here. Trucking companies should enforce proper inspection of trucks before use, regular maintenance of trucks and their parts to prevent defects, and avoid reckless practices like overloading.

The Role of Driver Error and Negligence in Truck Accidents

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recorded a total number of 3,062 large truck accidents for the year 2013. These reported accidents were found to have killed about 570 truck operators and 2,400 more individuals inside smaller vehicles. About 540 pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclist were also recorded to have died in these accidents.

It’s easy to see why truck accidents can cause such notable number of fatalities in a single year. On the road, trucks easily outclass the other vehicles in its surroundings. Trucks typically weigh 20 to 30 times more than regular passenger cars. Any collision between a truck and a car can result significant impact and damage, particularly for those riding in the smaller vehicle.

The only way such outcomes can be prevented is by keeping truck operators accountable for the vehicle they are driving. Reckless and negligent behavior need to be addressed and mitigated immediately in order to avoid future accidents. Truck driver error and negligence is one of the most common causes for catastrophic accidents to occur. In particular, these accidents are often characterized by the following oversights:

  • Failure to provide proper signal when making turns
  • Failure to pay attention to blind spots or no-zones
  • Driving aggressively or recklessly
  • Driving with overweight load
  • Driving during inclement weather conditions

Because of the nature of such vehicles, driving a truck requires a skill set that is far more specific and precise. Trucks are notoriously hard to control and operate. For example, given their weight, trucks required a longer distance before coming to a full stop. The size of trucks also makes drivers vulnerable to blind spots, making it difficult to see surrounding vehicles. Because of these reasons, drivers will need specialized training before they can start hitting the road. In case an accident does occur, trucking companies should be held equally accountable for ensuring that their employees are fit to operate such a specialized vehicle.

Truck Accidents in Tennessee

The numbers are holding steady at around 1.5 deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) for the traffic fatality rate reported in the state of Tennessee for the last decade. This is not too bad with the national average at around 1.14. However, the number of trucks involved in fatal traffic accidents increased from 104 (2012) to 119 (2013), roughly a 14% increase.

Truck accidents are always considered with trepidation because it is so often serious. Large trucks that regularly ply the nation’s highways are particularly hazardous to the health of smaller fellow travelers because the trucks are so big and heavy. Moreover, truck drivers are also more likely to be highly skilled but less careful than the average motorist because of the number of hours they are on the road. According to the website of truck accident lawyers Ronald J. Resmini LTD., truck accident victims typically experience traumatic physical and emotional trauma, huge financial expenses, and other life-changing consequences.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is keeping tabs on these accidents from year to year to gather data they can use to further improve the safety regulations imposed on truck and other commercial vehicle drivers as well as their employers. While there has been some success, many truckers and trucking companies find a way to circumvent these regulations in the interest of making more money. In general they are able to avoid accidents but the few who do succumb to illness, fatigue, alcohol, drugs, or even mobile madness are unfortunately more than enough for major destruction.

Truck accidents may be explainable but not excusable. An exhausted, sick, or impaired driver has no business sitting behind the wheel of any vehicle, let alone a large truck. If you have been seriously injured because the truck driver exercised poor judgment in getting behind the wheel, you may be eligible to receive compensation. Find out more when you consult with an excellent personal injury lawyer.

Assistance for Truckers and Trucking Companies

The continuous flow of cash and communications are probably the two most important things in the trucking industry. Without the former, operations will grind to a halt faster than an engine with no oil. Without the latter, coordination will go right out the window.

The business of transporting goods over land is huge, accounting for more than 80% of all commercial goods in the US. Without truckers and trucking companies, many businesses will go bust because of the distribution problem. This means that a lot of over-the-air communication goes on all the time everywhere, especially since the advent of the affordable mobile phone. However, because of the risks associated with using a handheld device such as a mobile phone, federal law prohibits the dialing, holding, and reaching for hand held devices while operating a vehicle.

The law requires that wireless communication is conducted with the use of a hands-free device such as multi-functional hands-free headsets. There are headsets that connect to the computer, mobile phone, and human via Bluetooth, so even tangled wires are no longer a problem.  However, getting a citation for using a mobile phone is not the biggest concern for trucking companies. Their biggest concern is cash flow.

The trucking business is primarily a credit business; you transport today, you get paid 30, 60, or even 90 days later, depending on the client. The trucking industry follows a business model where accounts receivables are customarily delayed for as long as 90 days. In the meantime, wages, fuel, and spare parts need to be paid up front. This creates a cash flow bottleneck than can make or break a trucking enterprise.

Start up and small trucking companies are especially vulnerable to cash flow problems because they don’t have the resources to wait three months to get paid, or the customers to ensure a regular cycle of service orders and payments, or both. This is where freight factoring provides assistance to trucking companies.

Freight factoring allows trucking companies to trade their invoices for cash, usually for a small, fixed fee. It is not the ideal situation, but like hand held devices, it is a fact of the industry. Considering the alternative, the service fee for freight factoring is a small price to pay for continued operations of this most crucial of service providers.