If a truck wipes you out, you will have plenty of time to wonder why. Due to their size, you will likely be in hospital for a while. Focusing on what the driver did wrong is natural. Yet, sometimes there is more to it than that.
There is a myth that associates driving a truck with the freedom of the road. Yet, few, if any, drivers are truly free. For a start, only 9% are owner-operators. Freight companies control the lives of most people you see behind the wheel of a truck. They assess a driver’s suitability, draw up their schedules, and in many cases provide them with the wheels to drive.
3 ways freight companies may play a role in a truck crash
Here are some of the ways that haulage firms actions may lead to a crash:
- They did not allow the driver enough downtime: Recent law changes have muddied the waters regarding what counts as a break. Unloading a truck does not allow drivers the rest they need, yet it may still qualify as a mandatory break.
- They pushed a driver to extend their hours: The controller radios the driver asking them to work the weekend, despite knowing the person is exhausted. By pressuring someone to accept overtime, they increase the risk they crash.
- They pressure the driver to hurry up: Schedules need to be realistic. Keeping a driver on edge or hassling them for arriving late will only lead to drivers speeding to make up time. Companies need to realize that sometimes the only safe option is to turn up late.
Understanding the full range of factors contributing to a truck crash can help you get the compensation you need. If the freight company bears some of the blame, you may be able to claim against them, not just the driver.