According to a study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, commercial truck drivers alone account for around 20 percent of the total worker fatalities that occur each year in the United States. That should come as little surprise, given the number of fatal commercial truck accidents that occur every year. According to national statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are approximately 4,400 fatal truck crashes annually – a more than 50 percent increase compared to that number 10 years ago.
Dangerous Truck Drivers, Dangerous Trucking Companies
Many truck accidents are caused by the negligence or recklessness of the truck driver. Issues such as speeding, driving under the influence, and fatigued driving are all accident factors that should be avoided because there are laws that forbid these activities. Yet many truck drivers fail to follow the law and the results can be deadly.
Truck drivers are required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to operate. Licenses are issued on a state level. Under certain conditions, the state may suspend or revoke a truck driver’s right to operate. If the truck driver continues to drive after suspension, the state can pull their license permanently.
Regulation of trucking companies is overseen by the FMSCA. Under federal law, the FMSCA is allowed to shut down a trucking company and suspend truck drivers from operating if the agency can show an “imminent hazard to public safety” is present. The law defines an imminent hazard to public safety as “the existence of a condition that presents a substantial likelihood that death, serious illness, severe personal injury, or a substantial endangerment to health, property, or the environment may occur before a notice of investigation proceeding, or other administrative hearing or formal proceeding, to abate the risk of harm can be completed.”
The FMSCA also provides an out-of-service database that the public can access to see what companies have been shut down. The database is searchable by state. For example, if you search North Carolina, there are multiple trucking companies that are now listed as inactive for issues such as failure to pay fines, refusal of audit, and unfit companies.
Contact a Carolinas Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in any type of truck accident, contact Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn to speak with a North Carolina truck accident attorney and discover what legal recourse you may have. Truck accident cases can be complex, and it is not uncommon for there to be multiple at-fault parties who are responsible for the payment of financial damages you may be entitled to for your injuries. Our personal injury firm has successfully represented many injured victims and their families and will use all available resources to aggressively advocate for you and your family in obtaining the financial compensation you deserve.