Motor vehicle collisions often directly result from something that drivers have done or failed to do. For example, many crashes caused by semi-trucks occur because a truck operator maintains speeds that are too high or gets too close to other vehicles in traffic.
However, some crashes that occur are the result of decisions made by outside parties. For example, a trucking company can potentially increase crash risk or the severity of a collision through improper company operations. Both regulatory non-compliance and negligence could potentially contribute to a semi-truck collision occurring. These are some of the ways that transportation companies can potentially increase crash risk or the severity of a wreck.
Failing to install the best underride guards
Rear underride guards are a requirement for every commercial truck. Side underride guards are necessary for vehicles going into Canada. Many companies will only comply with the minimum standards established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They do not invest in the best underride guards even though there’s clear research showing that bigger and stronger guards better serve their intended purpose than cut-rate options. They may also choose not to install side underride guards at all because the FMCSA does not require them.
Bad vehicle maintenance or trailer loading practices
Some semi-truck collisions occur specifically because of issues with the vehicle. Maybe the brakes have gone out, for example. A company delaying crucial maintenance or repairs to semi-trucks could be the underlying cause of a semi-truck crash. Additionally, improperly loading a trailer or failing to tell a driver about liquid or moving contents could end up causing a situation where the driver loses control of the vehicle.
High-pressure employment policies
Truck driving is one of the better-paid blue-collar professions, but companies often put a lot of pressure on workers in return for those competitive wages. Commercial drivers may only receive optimal pay if they get every load in on time. The policy of providing incentive pay for on-time deliveries might lead to drivers speeding or continuing to drive when they should technically stop for the day. Requiring that drivers communicate with the company or its clients while on the road could lead to distractions that ultimately cause a crash.
Those who are able to connect a collision to a transportation company’s policies may have better options available when pursuing compensation. Holding the right party accountable is crucial for those seeking justice after a semi-truck collision, as making this effort can help to ensure that victims are awarded – and are able to collect – all that they’re due.