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How’s my driving? Do trucking companies really want to know?

August 10, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

This photo might seem comical, but only at first. After that, it’s actually quite alarming.

how is my driving

I often write about the truck accidents I litigate as an attorney.  Most, of course, are not “accidents” at all.  They are preventable. More often than not, there are major violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Rules (FMCSRs), unfit drivers that are allowed to drive, and trucks that are dangerously out of service.

Motor carriers  often push  truck drivers to violate  hours of service driving limit laws, speed to pick up and drop off “hot loads” and they neglect to keep their fleets in safe condition.

Sadly, by ignoring safety, they can then turn around and underbid the truck companies that do play by the rules. Following mandatory safety rules that are meant to protect us all becomes a competitive disadvantage. The incentive is to take more and more shortcuts.

These trucking companies are more concerned with the bottom line than with how many people they might injure or kill. Why should they be?

After all, Michigan has no punitive damages to deter the really bad truck companies from breaking the law and punishing them when they do. So there is no big stick to deter bad behavior, such as when a motor carrier knowingly puts a truck driver with drug or alcohol addiction behind the wheel.

I wonder if the driver of the truck in the picture is under the influence right now?  He may be driving his 80,000 pound truck with defective brakes on the same roads that we and our families drive.

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