If you were recently involved in a truck accident, you may wonder which parties can be held liable for your accident-related expenses. Although many victims assume the driver is at fault, truck accidents are often caused by negligent trucking companies. The companies that utilize trucks in their day-to-day business are responsible for making sure that both their drivers and other motorists on the road are safe and not in danger in any way due to their trucks.
An organization called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the trucking industry and created several rules to enhance safety. However, the Dickson truck accident lawyers at Matt Hardin law know that many trucking companies violate those regulations and fail to uphold their responsibilities to increase profits.
Important Trucking Company Responsibilities
Some of the most important responsibilities of trucking companies include:
Checking driver logs and rest schedules
Truck drivers are limited to a specific number of hours behind the wheel per day and per week. These limits are designed to reduce the risks of drowsy and fatigued driving caused by truck drivers and truck companies that push the limits to increase profits. Truck companies are required to verify that their drivers abide by rest schedules and aren’t exceeding their allowed number of hours.
Performing background and license checks on drivers
Because of the high-risk nature of truck driving jobs, trucking companies are required to perform background and CDL checks on any potential drivers and make them undergo drug and alcohol tests. In addition, drivers with previous DUI convictions or certain traffic violations in the past may be ineligible for truck driving positions. Despite these regulations, some truck companies forgo proper driver testing and background checks in order to fill vacant positions as quickly as possible.
Abiding by weight limits and loading requirements
Different types of trucks have different weight limits and loading requirements, including the types of cargo they can haul and how to balance its weight. However, some truck companies violate these regulations and either overload trucks or fail to load them properly, causing the trailers to be unstable and making it difficult for the drivers to maintain control of their trucks. It’s the trucking companies’ responsibility to make sure all trucks in their fleets are at or under the required weight limits and are loaded evenly and securely at all times.
Educating drivers on regulations and staying up to date on industry changes
FMCSA regulations are complex, but drivers are required to be aware of the majority of regulations—especially those that pertain to day-to-day operations of big trucks. That’s why trucking companies are responsible for education their drivers and making sure they understand the laws and regulations and how to follow them correctly. Trucking companies are also required to stay up to date on new regulations and any changes to existing regulations, as they’re subject to change over time.
Keeping a maintenance and repair schedule for all trucks
Although trucking companies don’t always own the trucks they use to do business, they are required to make sure any trucks they use for the transportation of goods are in good shape mechanically and safe to drive. That means they must perform routine inspections and schedule regular maintenance to identify and fix any potential problems before they turn into safety hazards on the highway or interstate.
Trucking companies generate big profits, but they also have big responsibilities. That’s why they can be held liable in the event of a truck accident, even if it appears that the driver was at fault.
If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident and you suspect the trucking company was at fault, get in touch with our Dickson truck accident attorneys today. We know Tennessee truck accident laws, and we can gather the evidence it takes to build a strong claim on your behalf. Just dial fill out a free online form.