When a commercial truck crashes into a smaller passenger vehicle, the discrepancy in size and weight can result in catastrophic injuries to the passengers in the smaller vehicle and absolute destruction of the vehicle itself. Many times, the victims of a commercial trucking crash will focus on what they believe may have been wrongful actions on the part of the individual truck driver.
What they may not realize is that, in reality, trucking companies very often play a substantial contributing role in the circumstances that caused the crash. Asking the commercial driver a few basic questions after the crash could help you determine if the trucking company is also at fault for what happened.
Does the company penalize late deliveries or reward those who speed?
Exceeding the posted speed limit is one of the most dangerous things a person can do, especially if that driver is in control of a massive commercial vehicle. Speed plays a role in a significant number of all commercial trucking crashes. Sadly, trucking companies often promote those irresponsible decisions through their own internal policies.
Some companies have zero-tolerance policies for late deliveries, writing up, fighting or even firing drivers who don’t get their deliveries where they need to go on time. Other companies offer incentive rates for speedy deliveries.
All too often, trucking company schedules do not take into consideration the very real potential delays a driver can experience, such as bad traffic, construction, a crash of another vehicle that stops traffic or inclement weather. Drivers should have the flexibility to slow down and drive safely without it impacting their pay.
Did the company hire someone without experience?
There is such high demand for commercial drivers right now that companies have a hard time finding competent drivers. Some companies will hire drivers with no real experience, while others will hire someone who has a questionable driving or criminal record, potentially endangering the public with their questionable hiring practices.
How long has the trucker been driving during their shift?
There are federal rules in place that limit how long commercial drivers can work in a single shift. However, as previously mentioned, trucking companies often focus more on the speed of a delivery than on the safety of other people on the roads.
Trucking companies can and do push their workers into violations of the hours of service rules. Some trucking companies may even assist in those violations by agreeing to alter the records of the electronic logging device installed in a commercial truck.