Trucking or transportation companies usually have dozens of drivers on staff and often maintain their own fleet of vehicles. Safety should be a top priority for these companies, as their drivers could easily cause fatal crashes or unimaginable levels of property damage.
Sadly, as in many industries, there will always be bad apples in the transportation industry who put profits ahead of people and their lives. Some trucking companies have policies that directly endanger the public and may violate the law and increase the risk of a crash.
Some companies expect their drivers to stay behind the wheel for too long
Driving while fatigued is incredibly dangerous. The more tired someone feels, the more difficult driving becomes. When someone drives for a living, they could spend half a day behind the wheel, which might mean they feel very tired by the end of their shift.
Trucking companies should enforce the Hours of Service rules that limit how much truckers can drive and mandate breaks. Sadly, some companies will encourage truckers to violate these rules or may even go so far as to help truckers adjust their records about drive times in order to continue driving when it is not safe to do so.
Some companies cut corners on vehicle maintenance
As you might imagine, maintaining a large commercial truck is expensive and time-consuming. However, the proper function of systems like brakes and steering is of the utmost importance for the safety not only of the truck driver but everyone they encounter on the road. Companies that don’t invest in maintenance may put the public at unnecessary risk.
A company might require truckers to communicate when they shouldn’t
It isn’t safe for any driver to take their hands off the wheel, let alone someone behind the wheel of a commercial truck. There are federal rules that prohibit any manual use of a cellphone, from typing a text message to manually dialing a number.
If a company requires that truckers respond to texts or emails during their shift or if they frequently call a trucker without providing them with adequate hands-free systems, they may encourage distracted driving that leads to a crash.
When a truck company’s rules or culture are one of the causative factors for a collision, it may sometimes be possible for the victim of the crash to bring a claim against the company as opposed to the individual driver involved.