Commercial trucking companies move raw materials and merchandise across the country every day and help keep costs for such goods relatively low. Commercial vehicles transport brand-new cars to dealerships and cases of avocados to grocery stores for less than it would cost to use air transportation to make these deliveries.
Unfortunately, these big vehicles that are so efficient at moving objects are also very dangerous while they are being operated. They can cause some of the worst crashes that occur on modern roads, including deadly underride collisions. When people talk about such wrecks, the focus is often on how commercial drivers could adjust their habits for better public safety. However, it is important for people to understand that transportation companies can – and should – also take steps to reduce the likelihood that crashes will occur.
Underride guards can make all the difference
Federal traffic safety regulations mandate the installation of a rear underride guard on every commercial trailer. 18-wheelers have a trailer attached, and there should be a metal guard extending from the rear of that trailer to prevent vehicles that hit the back of the trailer from ending up under the truck.
Unfortunately, many companies buy the cheapest guards they can, rather than the biggest and strongest guards that would save more lives. Additionally, many companies only install the rear guards and do not invest in the side underride guards that could save lives.
Hiring and employment practices also matter
Commercial transportation companies sometimes cut corners when it comes to their hiring and training practices. Hiring someone with a history of substance abuse disorders or numerous traffic citations may lead to liability for the business if that driver causes a wreck. Additionally, the requirements that the company imposes on its drivers, such as obligations to get loads in even when they have been on the road for hours, might lead to those drivers violating the law and causing preventable collisions.
When those who are hurt in an 18-wheeler wreck or those who lose a loved one in such a crash want to pursue justice, they will need to evaluate whether an insurance claim or possibly a lawsuit will be the best option for their unique circumstance. Determining who is to blame for an 18-wheeler collision with the assistance of an experienced legal professional is often the first step in pursuing compensation following an injurious wreck.