When a West Virginia truck accident occurs, the results can be devastating. In addition to substantial property damage, the odds of serious injuries or death to those involved increase significantly. Unfortunately, many of these accidents occur as a direct result of trucking company negligence.
The United States trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This federal agency is tasked with implementing rules and regulations which are designed to prevent injuries or fatalities due to trucking accidents. Therefore, any breach of these laws constitutes negligence on the part of the trucking company.
Human Error and Trucking Company Negligence
The most common category of trucking company negligence involves the personnel who actually drive the trucks. That's because the majority of all types of truck accidents is caused by human error.
In an attempt to avert trucking accidents, transportation companies must take steps to ensure that their drivers are not dangerous to other vehicles on the road. Some of these preventative measures include:
- hiring drivers who are able and qualified to operate tractor-trailers
- thoroughly training drivers in the proper operation of tractor-trailers
- disciplining drivers who violate safety rules
- ensuring that drivers' operating licenses are in good legal standing
- randomly screening drivers for drug and alcohol use
If an employer fails to uphold these responsibilities concerning their drivers, it may very well constitute an act of trucking company negligence.
Limits on Truck Drivers' Hours
Other regulations which are often defied by trucking companies pertain to the number of hours that a person can operate a tractor-trailer in a given time period. The FMCSA has instituted rules which specifically govern how long a person is permitted to drive a truck in a given day or week. These rules establish "off-duty" periods for all drivers with the goal of making sure they are not tired or fatigued when they are operating their 18-wheelers.
Because trucking companies are working on a deadline that can result in lost money for long trips, some companies may encourage their drivers to flout these rules. This can lead to people who are inattentive or even physically unfit to drive - two serious dangers which can bring about a deadly accident.
Continue to Next Page >>