Throughout 2016 alone, a staggering 4,564 Americans lost their lives in car accidents involving large commercial trucks or buses. Despite the fact that all commercial truck drivers must go through extensive training programs to earn their commercial driver’s license (CDL), trucking companies consistently make poor hiring decisions, fail to adequately train their drivers, and routinely send out trucking fleets with improper maintenance. If a member of your family is injured in a truck accident, it is possible that the injuries were caused by the unsafe operation of the vehicle or the negligence of the truck company.
Company Negligence and Reckless Truck Driving
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a large percentage of commercial trucking accidents are a result of reckless driving. Nearly 20% of all collisions caused by commercial trucks were due to the truck driver traveling at excessive speeds. Additionally, 16% of commercial truck collisions occurred because the truck driver was using their cell phone while operating their vehicle. In many of these cases, the reckless driving was a byproduct of improper driver training.
While many commercial truck collisions are the direct fault of the driver, these collisions may have been avoided with increased employee vetting and adequate training programs. Trucking companies are responsible for the training and treatment of their employees, and failing to properly train employees or treating employees unfairly is a direct form of company negligence. The most common forms of negligence include forcing drivers to drive more than the federally legal limit of 14 consecutive driving hours, insufficiently training drivers, and poor vehicle maintenance.
Despite nationwide initiatives to stop inebriated driving, one of the most dangerous forms of reckless commercial truck operation is drunk driving. Many commercial trucking companies will hire drivers previously convicted of DUI charges, as long as a certain amount of time has passed since the arrest. Although FMCSA regulations state that a CDL holder can be disqualified from commercial driving for life if convicted of multiple DUI charges, thousands of truck drivers still make the reckless decision to drive while under the influence of alcohol. The vast majority of trucking companies understand that hiring drivers with a history of inebriated driving is a direct form of negligence, yet companies continue to give irresponsible drivers an opportunity to get behind the wheel. Drivers convicted of multiple DUI charges should face difficult hurdles to make it back behind the wheel of standard motor vehicles, and they should never operate vehicles that can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
Contact a Chicago Trucking Accident Lawyer
At Pullano & Siporin, our number one goal is to ensure that you and your family receive the full compensation you deserve in the event of an injury. In the case of an accident involving a commercial truck, companies will aggressively fight to avoid paying for injuries suffered. Fortunately, our legal team has years of experience fighting against company negligence and reckless truck drivers. We have won multiple victories in these types of cases, including:
- A $14-million settlement for a person injured by a truck driver who was hired after multiple DUI convictions, a number of speeding violations, and previous convictions for operating a vehicle on a suspended license.
- A multi-million dollar settlement for a pedestrian that was tragically struck by a driver in direct violation of procedural safety codes (the driver did not have a spotter present while backing up on a loading dock).
When trucking companies either hire workers with previous driving charges or fail to adequately prepare their drivers for the task of commercial truck driving, they are acting in a reckless and negligent manner. Fortunately, our legal team has experience fighting established trucking companies, and we are fully confident that we can help you receive the financial support you need to recover from any and all injuries suffered. To schedule a free consultation with a Lake County truck accident attorney, call us today at 312-551-1100.