A Look at Trucking Industry Practices
Truck accidents are often far more serious than motor vehicle accidents because the size of the truck means a greater impact for those involved in the collision. There are strict state and federal rules designed to encourage safety in the trucking industry but unfortunately these rules are not always followed to the letter. Accident risks increase not just when the rules are broken, but also when trucking companies put policies in place that incentivize unsafe behavior.
Unfortunately, there are far too many policies and protocols within the trucking industry that can significantly increase the risk of motor vehicle collisions. When an accident happens, victims should talk with Colorado Springs truck accident attorneys to determine if they can hold both the trucker accountable as well as the trucking company employing the driver. Companies are often considered liable for accidents along with drivers, and trucking companies typically have more insurance coverage and deeper pockets to pay for damages.
Trucking Industry Policies Contributing to Truck Accidents
One of the biggest issues within the trucking industry that increases accident risks is the way that the pay structure is set up for truckers. Truck drivers are typically paid by the mile, rather than being paid by the hour. As a result, truckers are not compensated directly for loading or unloading, for time spent due to detours, or for delays because of bad weather.
Since truckers are paid by the mile, the faster they can get a delivery transported, the more money they are able to make. This incentivizes truckers to move as quickly as possible, which can lead to a number of unsafe practices that increase collision risks.
Truck drivers may load trucks more quickly than they should, which could lead to unbalanced loads and increase the risk of rollover truck collisions. They may speed to make up time after a detour or delay so they can arrive to their destination in a timely manner, and they may not take as many rest breaks as they should-- even though the law requires truckers to log hours and take mandated breaks. Truck drivers may also choose to drive through bad weather so they can make more deliveries since they do not get paid if they are not driving.
Another problem in the trucking industry is a serious trucking shortage, which may lead to loosening of hiring standards. There are far too few truck drivers in the industry and the shortage is only expected to grow as older truck drivers retire and are not replaced by younger drivers. Trucking companies, while they must follow the law and only hire drivers with commercial licenses, may relax some of their other requirements in connection with experience and years on the road. This could lead to drivers without the knowledge to safely operate large trucks driving cross country on our nation's roads.
When a truck accident occurs, truck crash victims deserve to hold companies accountable for the damage the drivers employed by those companies causes. Colorado Springs truck accident attorneys can help, so give us a call today to find out about the assistance we can offer.