Godwin, Morris, Laurenzi & Bloomfield, P.C.

Federal response to commercial driving industry underlines risk

These days, a picture of an overturned commercial vehicle such as a truck or bus might seem like everyday footage. But auto accidents involving commercial vehicles are serious and should never be accepted as everyday occurrences. People get seriously hurt and even killed when negligent driving and large vehicles mix.

That is what makes a recent federal safety crackdown so worrisome. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration investigated bus companies across the nation and took action in response to the findings. Clearly, not all motor coach companies and commercial drivers take safety seriously.

After months of visiting different businesses, the FMCSA shut down a reported 52 companies. Those shutdowns are related to all types of safety violations, including the following and more:

  • Drivers didn't have commercial driver's licenses.
  • Vehicles were not properly maintained: faulty brakes, faulty lights, faulty wiring, bad tires
  • At least one driver was found to not have the ability to speak or read English, which is required for drivers in order to follow traffic signs.

Those are just some of the safety risks found among the companies targeted during the investigation. Yes, it does cost money to train and educate drivers. It takes time and money to properly maintain commercial vehicles. Neglecting those needs is not a legal or ethical option when people's lives depend on the actions of drivers and their employers. 

Anyone who is injured in a bus accident or truck accident has legal rights to consider. Commercial drivers and the companies that they work for must be held accountable when their negligence compromises the safety of a passenger, motorist or any other victim on the road. 

Source: Los Angeles Times, "U.S. regulators close 52 bus companies in safety crackdown," Ricardo Lopez, Dec. 12, 2013

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