Unsafe Trucks: Three Ways The Trucking Industry Puts Profits Over Public Safety

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The demand for consumer and commercial products grows each year. The volume of goods transported in tons is estimated to grow by 1.6% by 2050.

Considering this unceasing demand, many trucking operations may cut corners to increase their profit margin. Here are three ways the trucking industry encourages truck drivers to adopt unsafe practices while transporting goods.

Additionally, if you’ve been harmed in a truck accident, contact our St. Louis truck accident lawyers at (314) 408-5708 to request help or insight into your case.

#1: The Industry Encourages Speed Over Safety.

While the training materials of some of these trucking companies say they’re committed to the safety of truckers and other motorists, their actions demonstrate otherwise.

So, one of the top ways the trucking industry puts profits before people is by setting aggressive timeframes and deadlines. Trucking companies often pay drivers per mile, making a potential incentive for unsafe practices (such as speeding) to increase earnings, which compromises overall road safety.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the federal agency that governs trucking and commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), found that speeding is one of the top reasons trucks get into accidents.

#2: The Industry Pushes Drivers To Their Physical Limits.

The FMCSA sets hours of service (HOS) regulations that dictate the maximum time a driver can operate a CMV.

For cargo- or property-hauling CMV operators, here are the HOS limits set by the FMSCA:

However, despite these clear and specific requirements for truckers, trucking companies may explicitly or implicitly require truckers to ignore federally required safety regulations to meet their deadlines.

Studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have shown that physical and mental impairments after 24 consecutive hours awake are the equivalent of driving with a .10 blood alcohol content (BAC).

Driving drowsy is driving dangerously. The FMSCA found that drowsiness is the number one reason truckers get into crashes.

#3: The Industry Doesn’t Adhere To Maintenance Standards.

Vehicle maintenance requirements for leased CMVs are also regulated by the FMSCA. According to the Federal Code of Regulations (CFR) § 396.3“Every motor carrier and intermodal equipment provider must systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles and intermodal equipment subject to its control.” 

That means that a trucking company is federally required to perform regular maintenance on the CMVs truckers utilize. However, just because this is required doesn’t mean that regular maintenance happens.

While maintenance is the right thing to do, unscrupulous trucking companies may ignore this requirement as many consider maintaining vehicles a potential waste of time and money. Any time that a trucker isn’t driving their CMV is a loss for them financially, on top of the money needed to keep the truck in the correct working order.

Do You Need Help With A Trucking Case? Contact Miller & Hine!

If you believe a truck driver or trucking company has wronged you, we want to help. Contact us today at (314) 408-5708 for a free, no-obligation case review and consultation with a St. Louis injury attorney.