Common Causes Of Truck Accidents
Why do so many truck drivers and carriers ignore safety rules and cause catastrophic crashes?
Truck accidents occur for many of the same reasons that car accidents do. Driving under the influence, distracted driving, speeding, tailgating – all can lead to devastating big-rig crashes and catastrophic accidents for drivers and passengers in vehicles that are no match for the size and weight of an 18-wheeler.
Too often, however, truck accidents are the result of something rarely involved in car crashes – greed.
More Time On The Road Means More Money – And More Accidents
Trucker drivers make more money by driving more. Trucking companies and carriers make larger profits the more deliveries they can make in as short a time as possible.
These economic pressures can lead to drivers feeling compelled to stay on the road far longer than federal regulations permit. They can also cause truck companies to quietly encourage drivers to violate those time limitations and keep on driving. When that happens, and fatigued truckers are speeding down the highway, tragic accidents are far more likely to occur.
Additionally, the need to keep trucks moving may cause companies to cut corners when it comes to required inspections, maintenance, and repairs. This can lead to mechanical problems such as failing brakes that directly result in tragic crashes. These issues are what Lake County truck accident attornies look for.
Falsified Safety Records
In order to prevent such tragedies and to police compliance with these vital safety rules, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict and detailed record-keeping requirements as to driver hours, truck maintenance, and other issues. Under federal law, drivers and trucking companies must keep and maintain logbooks and other records which document, among other things:
- Driver qualifications
- Driver training
- Drug and alcohol testing
- Driver work hours
- Truck inspection, maintenance, and repairs
The same greed that leads to safety violations in the first place can also lead drivers and carriers to falsify the records that are supposed to accurately reflect compliance with the law. Of course, forging or altering these records is also illegal. Still, the temptation to do so – especially if they think doing so will help protect them from fines or damages in the event of an accident – can be powerful.
Another way trucking companies try to shield themselves from the consequences of their own negligence or rule breaking is to hide behind so-called “chameleon” companies.
Carriers can be forced out of business if they get in too much trouble with federal regulators or if they get hit with massive personal injury judgments. The FMCSA can shut down and take away the licenses of truckers and carriers who they find have repeatedly disregarded safety laws or who have a high number of accidents.
But these enforcement efforts don’t always work, or result in a slap on the wrist. Trucking companies who get in trouble with regulators can sometimes simply change their company name, get a new license number from the FMCSA, and keep their trucks on the road as if nothing has changed.
Studies have shown that these so-called “chameleon” companies are three times more likely to be involved in serious collisions. During a five-year stretch, these dubious entities were responsible for accidents that killed 217 people and injured 3,500.
We Hold Trucking Companies Accountable For The Tragic Consequences Of Their Greed
All of these attempts to falsify evidence and hide behind phony corporate structures are designed to thwart efforts to hold negligent trucking companies and drivers responsible for the injuries and deaths they cause. That is why it is so important to have a trucking accident lawyer who understands these tactics and can get to the truth. Getting the real facts is just one of the many benefits of hiring an accident lawyer. At the Law Offices of Kirk A. Moyer, we hold trucking companies to account and relentlessly pursue all avenues to obtain justice and compensation for those who have suffered because of recklessness and greed.
Kirk’s experience, skill, and tenacity have resulted in a track record of success and the recovery of substantial damages for truck accident victims and their families throughout Lake County, Cook County, and Chicago.
If you were injured or have lost a loved one in a truck accident, Kirk Moyer is the Lake County truck accident attorney you need to get you the compensation you deserve. Please give him a call at (847) 244-3444 to arrange for your FREE initial consultation.