At the start of every year, people like to make resolutions about ways they will improve themselves. In a surprise move, the Trucking Alliance also announced that it had a professional resolution for 2019. The organization acknowledged that commercial trucks were responsible for more than 4,700 deaths and over 145,000 injuries across the United States in the last reportable year.
They claim to aspire to reduce those numbers to zero for 2019. Unfortunately, that desire simply isn’t realistic. Commercial truck drivers are working as much now as they ever have. Although more information is coming in about the necessity of expanded safety equipment and improved “best practices,” the status quo reigns.
Everyone who has to share the world with large commercial trucks also shares some amount of risk.
Some trucking companies actually encourage bad behaviors
Commercial trucking is all about efficiency and quantity. Truck drivers move huge amounts of materials and goods across the country for much more cheaply than other forms of transportation could. While many of the companies that provide commercial trucking services claim to prioritize safety, their actual policies show differently.
Companies may offer bonuses or better pay to the drivers who make on-time deliveries. Unfortunately, the scheduling for many commercial trucking deliveries is unrealistic. It may not account for issues such as bad weather or heavy traffic. Truck drivers may then have to drive irresponsibly fast or longer than is safe or legally permissible to reach their destination on time.
Some trucking companies also encourage a culture where drivers feel they have to multitask at the wheel. Whether they are reporting to their boss or communicating with the recipient of a delivery, it is dangerous for truck drivers to use cellphones for calls or to text while they drive. These kinds of cultural issues can contribute to a focus that is more on efficiency and money than on the safety of everyone else on the road.
Sometimes the company as well as the driver is responsible for the crash
Collisions involving a passenger vehicle and a commercial truck can often be far more complex than crashes involving just passenger vehicles. There are many unique elements that can influence a crash with a commercial vehicle. These can include who owns the vehicle, the working conditions that the driver had to endure and many other factors.
In some cases, people who get hurt by a commercial truck driver can pursue a personal injury claim against that driver. Other times, the company itself may be partially legally responsible for the injuries that resulted from the crash. Consulting with an attorney who understands Kentucky personal injury law is a first step to determine what your options are after a truck crash injury.