Trucking is a vital part of the economy, moving goods and materials to and from factories, stores, and other businesses. But the trucking industry faces several legal challenges that can affect its day-to-day operations.
Not only are there federal regulations that trucking companies must comply with, but they also must navigate the complex web of state and local laws. Here are some of the most significant legal issues faced by the trucking industry today.
One of the most common and dangerous issues facing trucking companies is driver fatigue. Some trucking companies push their drivers to the limit to meet deadlines and maximize profits, resulting in exhausted and dangerous employees behind the wheel.
Federal law requires that truck drivers take a certain number of breaks and get a certain amount of rest, but these regulations are often ignored or flouted by trucking companies. This can result in serious accidents, injuries, and even fatalities.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, you need to contact 18 wheeler accident lawyer to assess your claim. These accidents often have devastating consequences, and an experienced lawyer will help you get the compensation you deserve.
Improper Maintenance of Trucks
If a trucking company does not properly maintain its vehicles, it can be held liable for any accidents or injuries that occur as a result. This includes ensuring that the trucks are regularly inspected and that any necessary repairs are made on time.
Here are some of the specific maintenance issues that can come up:
Worn or bald tires can cause blowouts, leading to serious accidents. Trucking companies must ensure that their tires are in good condition and properly inflated.
If brakes are not properly maintained, they can fail, causing an accident.
Lights and reflectors:
Trucks must have functioning headlights, taillights, and reflectors. If they don’t, other drivers may not see the truck, leading to a collision.
If a truck’s load is not properly secured, it can shift during transit and cause an accident.
Trucking companies must also keep accurate records of all maintenance and repairs. This can be used as evidence if there is an accident or injury.
Drivers Suing for Unsafe Work Conditions
Truck drivers often work long hours and are not always paid for the time they spend waiting to load or unload their trucks. This can lead to angry and frustrated employees who may sue their employer for unsafe working conditions.
Trucking companies must ensure that their drivers are properly compensated for their time and not working excessive hours. This includes keeping accurate records of all hours worked.
Here are some tips to prevent lawsuits:
- Make sure drivers are paid for all the hours they work, including waiting time
- Do not require drivers to work excessive hours
- Keep accurate records of all hours worked
- Provide adequate training to all employees
If you are a truck driver who has been injured on the job, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. You should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your case.
In some states, trucking companies can be held liable if their drivers are convicted of certain traffic offenses. This is known as vicarious liability. For example, if a truck driver is convicted of speeding, the trucking company may be held liable for any accidents or injuries that occur as a result.
To avoid vicarious liability, trucking companies must carefully screen their drivers and perform background checks. They should also have policies in place that prohibit drivers from speeding or committing other traffic offenses.
Your trucking company can also be held liable if one of your drivers causes an accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. To avoid this, you should have a strict policy against drug and alcohol use, and you should perform regular drug tests on your drivers.
Companies Not Paying Insurance Premiums
As the trucking industry has become more competitive, some companies have chosen to cut corners by failing to pay their insurance premiums. This puts all other trucking companies at risk, as they may have to pay for damages caused by uninsured trucks.
These companies also create an unfair advantage, as they are essentially operating without any risk. If you are considering starting a trucking company, make sure to budget for insurance premiums and make sure that your company will be able to pay them on time.
There you go! These are some of the biggest legal issues faced by modern trucking businesses. By understanding these issues, you can help your company avoid them. Just remember to always consult with an attorney if you have any legal questions.