Truck accident attorney: “I’m not anti-trucker. What I am is pro-safety.”
I’ve received several comments from angry truckers accusing me of being anti-trucker, and today I’d like to respond. As a truck accident attorney, I’ve spoken at several truck safety conferences, and I’ve been contacted at least a dozen times by good truckers who are being forced by the companies they work for to break safety rules and put people in danger.
I’m certainly not anti-trucker. What I am is pro-safety. The problem that these comments from concerned truckers fails to recognize is that when bad trucking companies break federal and state safety rules, they undermine the good truck companies in Michigan.
Here’s what happens: These unsafe truck companies bid lower on jobs and pay their drivers less — and it puts the entire system in peril. It also puts tremendous pressure on good truck companies that want to play by the rules.
For example, why has the whole trucking industry moved from paying truck drivers by the mile to paying them on an hourly schedule? It’s because most responsible trucking companies recognize obviously that paying by the mile creates a perverse financial incentive for drivers to speed, drive over their regulated hours of service, and skip “time wasters” like pre-trip inspections.
My point is simply this: Good truckers who play by the rules should be rewarded, not punished. But as long as we allow truck companies that violate laws to undercut the good guys, we are putting everyone in substantial danger, and there will continue to be more preventable truck accidents.
– Steven Gursten is a partner of Michigan Auto Law and one of the most renowned truck accident attorneys in the country. He is past president of the American Association for Justice Truck Litigation Group, and has received the top-reported trial verdict in Michigan for truck accidents. Steve was named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leader in the Law for his efforts in promoting truck safety.
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