Negligent Hiring, Supervision and Training by Trucking Companies
Some of the most successful companies in America have top-notch personnel in positions where they excel. The secret to such success is a hiring manager who has the industry experience to attract and retain qualified individuals. Such success is maintained through a comprehensive and ongoing process of continuing education and training by seasoned supervisors. Similarly, trucking companies must implement such tools in their own businesses to hire, supervise and train truck drivers.
This normative statement rings true when we consider that truck drivers are entrusted with operating extremely large trucks with long trailers and heavy payloads at high speeds across the country. In a nutshell, when trucking companies fail to provide proper supervision and training to qualified truck drivers, harm and damage including death may result to motorists on the road. When such harm occurs, the trucking company should be held responsible for its failure.
In the trucking industry, there are guidelines and regulations at both the federal and state level. For our purposes, the federal level is important for this discussion because federal law governs tractor trailers that cross interstate lines between states. As most truckers travel between states, federal law and regulations apply to such truck drivers and their employers.
There are numerous federal laws pertaining to the operation of a tractor trailer including licensing, qualifications, hours of operation, and drug and workplace safety. For example, a motorist is not allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle (i.e. tractor trailer) unless and until that person has passed a series of written and driving tests that meet strict federal standards that are issued by the motorist’s state of residence. The purpose of the federal licensing law is to decrease and prevent truck and bus accidents and injuries and death resulting there from by disqualifying drivers who are unable to meet the stringent requirements. Likewise, the employer of a truck driver shall not allow such driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle during the period that a driver does not have a current license with proper endorsements which is free from restriction, violation and/or disqualification.
To aid in reducing and prevent truck accidents and injuries from the misuse of drugs and alcohol by a truck driver, federal regulations exist to control such intake. For example, no driver or employer shall allow a truck driver to operate a truck while having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater. Similarly, a truck driver shall not be allowed to operate a truck when such driver has used any controlled substance, except pursuant to the directions of a licensed physician. These regulations are enforced by pre-employment testing, post accident testing, random testing, reasonable suspicion testing, return to duty testing and follow-up testing. The employer is also required to post a policy of the misuse of drugs and alcohol for its truck drivers. Additionally, the immediate supervisors of truck drivers shall receive training to help the supervisors spot and determine indications of drug or alcohol misuse in the workplace.
Employer and truck drivers are also required to maintain a log of the drivers’ hours on the road to prevent truck driver fatigue and crashes. Under state law, trucking companies have additional duties to provide adequate training and proper equipment to ensure safe operation of the truck.
If you are unsure as to whether you or a loved one has been injured or harmed as the result of the negligent hiring, supervision and/or training of a truck driver on the roads in Georgia, then please contact an experienced truck driver accident attorney immediately.
Some examples of negligent hiring, supervision and training of a truck driver include the following:
- Employers who knowingly hire drivers that do not possess a license
- Employers who fail to provide or require drug testing of truck drivers
- Employers who fail to report truck accidents and safety violations to the federal government
- Employers who ignore or encourage truck drivers to surpass or break the hours of service of operation
- Employers who fail to properly educate and train their trucking supervisors
- Employers who fail to provide a proper background check on truck drivers in their employ
When unsafe truck drivers or unqualified drivers are allowed to operate a truck due to the negligence of his/her employer and a trucking accident occurs, it is important to contact a reputable trucking accident attorney immediately to secure evidence at the scene of the wreck and provide expert personnel to investigate and document the cause of the collision as soon as possible. Remember, there is huge difference between the resources of wealthy trucking companies and the relative inability of the injured victim to compete. Be sure to even your odds and get the legal expertise you deserve now.
If you are injured in a tractor trailer collision or truck accident in Georgia, Mr. Ford can help you receive the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries, lost earnings or wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. The Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford is currently accepting trucking accident cases throughout Georgia. Please contact us today for a free consultation.