There are more vehicles on the road today than ever before, and alongside them, more trucks. As the demand for goods rises, trucking companies are expanding their fleets so there are more semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other massive trucks on the roads.
Unfortunately, this means you have a greater chance of getting into an accident with someone in a truck. Truck drivers should do their part to be safe on the roads although it’s not just their responsibility. The trucking companies need to do more to prevent accidents by taking certain actions.
Follow All Federal Trucking Rules and Regulations
Trucking companies, or common carriers, must obey the rules that the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established. These trucking laws are federally mandated to ensure that trucks driving across the country uphold specific safety standards.
The rules and regulations set by the FMCSA discuss truck driver hiring and training practices. They also have drug and alcohol testing requirements, truck equipment requirements, special rules for transporting hazardous materials, and truck driver regulations for hours of service. Trucking companies are also mandated to meet fleet maintenance and inspection minimums and cargo loading and securement laws.
Failure to adhere to these laws can make for riskier situations on the roads. If a trucking company and one of its truckers causes an accident because they did not follow the rules, they can be held liable in a truck accident.
Hire Qualified and Safe Truck Drivers
The vast majority of trucking accidents are caused by driver error and negligence. Negligent acts behind the wheel of a big rig can include distracted driving, driving under the influence, drowsy driving, speeding, or violating traffic laws.
All trucking companies can do their part to prevent accidents caused by negligence by hiring qualified and safe truck drivers. This means checking to make sure a trucker’s commercial driver’s license is valid and making sure they have had proper training.
Maintain the Fleet
It’s important to keep trucks maintained to ensure they’re road ready. Large trucks have more complex parts than passenger vehicles. Any equipment failure can cause a catastrophic crash.
Trucking companies can prevent accidents by regularly conducting inspections and maintenance on their fleets. They should check the tires, brakes, engine, electrical system, fluids, lights, belts, hoses, fuel tanks, and trailer connections. If anything is found to be faulty or in need of repairs, the truck should be pulled from the fleet until it can pass inspection.
When Is a Trucking Company Responsible For a Truck Accident?
The trucking company may share liability with the truck driver or even be assigned complete blame in a truck crash. After an investigation, it may reveal that the trucking company cut corners on safety regulations, blatantly disregarded the rules set by the FMCSA, failed to complete inspections, or didn’t use proper hiring or training practices when employing the truck driver. Since truck accident cases are complex and could mean a lengthy legal battle with a trucking company, it’s wise to seek legal representation after a truck accident.