A disturbing bit of news recently found the light of day. Freight Waves, a trucking industry digital news platform, published a report on the rise in coercion complaints that truckers are filing against their employers, shippers, and others. According to the article, the reports have been filed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) National Consumer Complaint Database. If the coercion reports keep coming in at the current pace, it could break a record for the most reports filed in a year, according to the FMCSA’s data. In fact, on the present pace that coercion reports are coming in, 2022’s total could more than double 2019’s total, which is the current record holder.
Coercion takes place when a trucking company, transportation intermediary, shipper, or receiver attempts to force a truck driver to operate their truck in a way that violates Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, Federal Motor Carrier Commercial Regulations, or Hazardous Materials Regulations. Employers, shippers, and others generally try to force a trucker to violate safety regulations by threatening to punish the trucker somehow, such as taking employment action against the driver or withholding work from them.
How Violating Safety Regulations Can Cause Truck Accidents
Trucking safety regulations are in place for a reason. That reason is that they help keep truckers and everyone they share the road with safer. Violating trucking safety regulations can lead to truck accidents and injuries.
The most common way that violating trucking safety regulations can result in truck accidents is if the violations involve a trucker driving when they are too tired to be behind the wheel. Truckers are required to get a certain amount of rest before driving. If a trucking company, shipper, or receiver forces a trucker to continue driving even though they are tired, it could lead to the driver falling asleep while driving and causing a devastating wreck.
The reason why employers, shippers, and receivers try to coerce drivers to violate safety regulations is often because they are trying to meet delivery deadlines. Having a shipment arrive late can cost trucking companies, shippers, and receivers a lot of money. However, there is no excuse for endangering people’s lives just to turn a profit.
Talk to an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer About Your Situation for Free
Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner, PLLC has been helping clients throughout West Virginia with their legal needs since 1931. We are a fixture in the community and are proud to be able to provide our fellow West Virginians with high-quality legal representation.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a truck accident, we’re ready to help. Our experienced truck accident attorneys can guide you through the legal process of holding negligent truckers and trucking companies accountable for the pain and suffering they have caused. This includes securing compensation for victims and their families to cover loss of income, hospital bills, living expenses, and rehabilitation costs.