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Trucking Companies Pressure Drivers into Dangerous Scenarios

By Butler Prather LLP on March 15, 2024

It requires an experienced driver with a clear head and a well-maintained vehicle to safely operate a semi-truck. When trucking companies push their drivers to the limit by forcing them to work long hours under unsafe and arduous conditions, it dramatically increases the chances that a collision will occur, and the true victim of one of these accidents could be you or someone you love.

When a fully loaded big rig truck weighing up to 40 tons crashes into a regular passenger car, it causes devastating injuries and fatalities. Many of these tragic events could have been prevented if greedy trucking companies weren’t so concerned about increasing their profit margin, no matter who ends up paying the price.

Unrealistic Expectations Cause Drivers To Cut Corners

Trucking companies maximize their profits by squeezing drivers in every way they can, and this has a negative effect on key safety metrics. A lot of truck drivers have to meet strict schedules and are monitored by electronic devices at all times. There are harsh economic consequences for drivers who don’t meet their quotas, and many drivers don’t have enough time to take regular restroom breaks. Some drivers even resort to relieving themselves using bags and bottles inside the truck while driving.

Unrealistic expectations imposed by trucking companies cause drivers to cut corners wherever they can, drastically reducing driver safety. To avoid getting behind schedule, drivers take risks that threaten the safety of everyone on the road:

  • Ignoring the speed limit
  • Logging too many hours
  • Making unsafe merges and lane changes
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Failing to watch out for pedestrians
  • Making careless maneuvers
  • Speeding through intersections
  • Failing to pull over in rainy, foggy, or snowy weather

How Fatigue Affects Truck Drivers

Many truck drivers suffer from fatigue caused by irregular schedules, lack of sleep, inadequate rest breaks, and extended work schedules. In addition to their scheduled work time, drivers are frequently required to wait inside their trucks for hours at a time while a new load is being prepared.

Everybody gets tired when they work too long, but it’s a lot more serious when we’re talking about people who are put in charge of heavy machinery traveling at high speeds along our nation’s highways. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) indicates that 13 percent of commercial vehicle drivers were suffering from fatigue when a crash occurred.

Fatigue impairs essential driving skills, such as reflexes, coordination, judgment, and reaction time, leading to dangerous driver safety issues, including:

  • Blurred vision
  • Muscle weakness
  • Disorientation
  • Anxiety
  • Irritation
  • Brain fog

Unsafe Trucks Are a Hazard to Everybody

Another way trucking companies endanger people’s lives is by refusing to adequately service their trucks. When they are unwilling to remove broken trucks from their fleet or fail to provide regular inspections, it puts you and your family at risk.

Even the best driver isn’t safe when they’re operating a broken or poorly serviced truck, and trucking companies often require their employees to drive trucks with the following deficiencies:

  • Brakes with worn-out pads are subject to overheating, causing brake failure, especially when trucks are traveling downhill.
  • Overloaded or poorly loaded trucks cause jackknife accidents where both truck and trailer are sprawled out across the highway, and this often results in multi-car pileups.
  • Broken headlights and safety lights reduce driver visibility at night and prevent other drivers from knowing when the truck is going to change lanes.
  • Broken hitches cause runaway trailers and truck jackknifes.
  • Frayed or worn-out tires lead to blowouts that cause drivers to lose control of the vehicle.

Did You Suffer Catastrophic Injuries in a Columbus Truck Accident?

At Butler Prather LLP, we hold trucking companies liable for their negligent behavior. Our experienced Columbus truck accident lawyers will investigate every aspect of the crash that injured you by interviewing witnesses, scouring the police report, collecting surveillance and dash cam video, and examining the physical evidence. We will also obtain internal trucking company records to find out if they were taking unnecessary risks that put others in jeopardy.

For over 35 years, Butler Prather LLP has been getting justice for accident victims, and we’ve won settlements and verdicts for clients in over 30 states. Our Columbus attorneys have won nine verdicts that exceed $100 million and more than 60 verdicts and settlements of over $10 million. The outstanding service that our firm provides has been recognized by Super Lawyers, an independent rating agency that bases its reviews on peer recognition and professional achievement.

Call (706) 322-1990 to schedule your complimentary consultation with us today.

Posted in: Truck Accidents

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