Driver Fatigue & the Trucking Industry: Motorists Beware

The Trucking Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. take note of a recent investigation, as provided in a broadcast on ABC’s 20/20 regarding the deadly consequences of fatigued drivers, and the manner in which trucking companies contribute to these dangers through their negligent and unlawful practices.

As ABC’s Matt Gutman points out, “In 2012 alone there were over 300,000 large-truck crashed, with over 4,000 fatalities…the industry points out that truckers are not usually at fault in these accidents-but police do warn of a particular danger-tired truckers. While in some cases, it is the truck driver’s themselves that engage in risky behaviors, such as driving while fatigued, speeding or tailgating-in other cases, it is the trucker’s employer/trucking companies that are encouraging/supporting such recklessness. Consider both Truck Driver Negligence as well as Employer/Truck Industry Actions, as you view the following clip from the above-referenced ABC special:

Although this footage may be quite alarming to most, it is something that we, as representatives of trucking accident victims, have come to know as fact. The unfortunate truth is that our nation’s dependence on the trucking industry has also compromised the safety of others that must share our highways and roads with these massive vehicles. We have both a need for the industry and need for public safety. However, within the trucking industry, we have companies running a business, and the employees that work for them, each of which present concerns with regard to public safety.

On one hand, there are truck drivers employed by trucking companies, who want to keep their jobs in order to support their family and/or meet their own financial obligations. For some drivers, especially those paid by distance traveled, this may result in the driver engaging in dangerous driving behaviors in order to obtain the wages they need to survive. For other, the driver may feel compelled to satisfy their employer by abiding by their rules, requests, and orders, even though the driver knows that doing so may be unlawful or reckless.

On the other hand, there are trucking companies that must deliver loads in time, and in a cost effective manner, in order to keep their status as a reputable company amongst the plethora of other companies that they compete for business with. As a result, truck companies may turn a blind-eye to employees driving practices, or worse yet, as demonstrated in the video, condone and/or encourage such practices.

It would be an absurdity to believe that any person, whether owner/operator or employee driver of a trucking company, was not well aware of the highly stringent federal standards that regulate the industry. Yet, regardless of federal regulations that oversee both truck drivers and trucking companies, the unfortunate truth is that the self-interests of industry providers are often given more priority than adherence to the law. Far too often, trucking companies and the drivers that they employ are willing to risk being cited for a regulatory violation by engaging in negligent, reckless and unlawful actions, therefore placing others at risk for loss of life or limb.

If you were injured in a truck collision, or a loved one suffered a fatality as a result of a crash with a semi-truck, that occurred in the Chicagoland area, it is important to know your legal rights and entitlement to compensation. Contact Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. at 773-516-4100, or by using the online form provided on this page, to schedule your FREE comprehensive case evaluation with our experienced trucking accident litigation attorneys.

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