The size and weight of commercial vehicles can quickly turn mundane incidents to deadly collisions. Federal laws are in place to try to keep roads safe, but those that don’t obey could be putting your life at risk.
GardaWorld, a security contractor that operates armored trucks in the Chicago area, is responsible for around 100 collisions every month nationwide, according to a recent investigation. The report accuses Garda of shirking federal regulations in the name of profit, an act that opens the door to cries of negligence.
Setting safety standards
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a laundry list of requirements for commercial operators to follow. These rules cover a wide range of topics, including maintenance, training and hours of service. Anything short of these standards could point to the company having to bear the fault of your accident.
Rarely an accident
- Maintenance: Operators need to make sure their vehicles are fit for service, and that includes frequent checks and ongoing maintenance. Garda reportedly failed to perform even the most basic maintenance to save money, putting trucks on the road without fully functioning brakes or steering systems.
- Training: Companies might be responsible for hiring and using drivers that can’t live up to reasonable expectations on the road. One Garda driver in Illinois had multiple accidents on and off the job, but the company continued to put them behind the wheel, according to the piece. The driver later crashed their armored truck into an oncoming tanker, killing his coworker and the other driver.
- Time limits: The FMCSA has a long list of rules to combat fatigue. Tired drivers can be incredibly dangerous, so operation time, breaks and time between shifts are all explicitly spelled out. The report paints a picture Garda failing to inform drivers of limits, allowing second jobs in downtime and cramming too many trips into short windows.
Negligence on the part of the company can point to fault, and give you a path to compensation for your accident. Knowing what to look for when building a claim could be the first step to protecting your future.