As the economic downturn deepens, expect a rise in truck accidents to cause a greater number of personal injury and wrongful death claims across the nation.
It can not be denied that the risk of motor vehicle accidents, including motorcycle collisions, are substantially increased as a direct result of business and industry budget cuts, particularly in the trucking business.
Specifically, as trucking firms reduce costs to keep their profitability margins, proper truck maintenance, safety programs, and driver training fall by the wayside.
For instance, when truck tires and wheels are not been properly inspected and maintained, the results can be tragic, especially at highway speeds. Tire under inflation, mechanical wear, and mismatched dual assemblies are common semi-truck tire maintenance issues that can cause tire failure and blowouts. Further, other internal truck malfunctions, such as those occurring in the steering mechanism and brakes, also increase as those are maintenance issues that can not be easily spotted in routine inspections.
Safety training and other company programs to help new and existing truck drivers with the safe operation of a tractor-trailer are also neglected when times get tough. Trucking companies know that safety and driver education programs all contribute to safe truck operation, but they are willing to put their own truck drivers and the public at risk as the pressures mount to keep costs down.
In a depressed economy, as firms try and limit transportation and delivery costs, semis and other trucks are frequently improperly loaded. When a semi-truck is not properly loaded or carrying too much weight the potential for collisions, tip-overs, or accidents with other vehicles greatly increase.
Moreover, as cutting costs becomes paramount, truck drivers are more fatigued as they drive longer hours with less breaks. Their ability to be alert is compromised and they tend to be irritated and will drive more aggressively at a higher than safe speed.
In the trucking cases we have handled, we always hold the trucking firm responsible for maintenance, safety, and driver education cuts, breakdowns, and failures. While it is too late to save our client from injury and/or tradegy at the point Horn Law gets involved in a trucking accident, we can make a difference by aggressively pursuing the case and giving the trucking company the clear incentive to invest in safety.