Louisiana trucking company shuttered for repeated safety violations

How many times have you been driving along the interstate only to find yourself nestled amongst a pack of large tractor trailers? In some parts of Louisiana, this is an incredibly frequent occurrence. The only reason these scenarios aren't scarier than they already are is because we trust that trucking companies are keeping their vehicles in good repair and making sure their drivers are safe behind the wheel.

The vast majority of Louisiana trucking companies follow state and federal safety rules. However, there are a few that don't, and they put everyone on the road at risk of being involved in a dangerous truck accident.

When trucking companies are caught engaging in severe violations of safety regulations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has the authority to shut them down. This recently happened to one Louisiana-based logging company, after the FMCSA discovered that it was willfully operating in violation of a federal out-of-service order. The company is accused of using drivers who did not have valid commercial driver's licenses, using drivers who had been arrested for DUI, failing to properly record vehicle inspections and failing to maintain records regarding driver qualifications and accident histories.

FMSCA seeking new shutdown authority

While the FMCA's actions are certainly helpful, the agency would like to have more power to take action against unsafe truck and bus companies. To that end, it is asking for the authority to shut down carriers that are found to have engaged in efforts to avoid compliance with safety regulations. In addition, the FMCSA wants the ability to shutter companies that have made efforts to hide regulatory noncompliance and that have purposefully employed officers who have significant histories of disregarding safety rules.

The FMCSA predicts that only a very small number of carriers would ever be subject to action under the rule. Still, the agency says that the change could go a long way toward reducing truck accident rates throughout the United States.

Holding trucking companies accountable

Of course, even the strongest rules won't be able to prevent all instances of trucking company negligence. Ultimately, the burden for ensuring safety lies with the trucking companies themselves.

There are a number of ways in which trucking companies can fail to uphold their duty of care toward others on the road. In some instances, trucking companies might fail to properly supervise their drivers or might hire drivers who aren't well-suited to the job. In other cases, the company might fail to properly maintain their vehicles, leading to a breakdown that causes a truck accident.

When a truck accident is caused by negligence, injured victims have a right to hold the responsible parties accountable in personal injury lawsuits. Some of the available elements of compensation include medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Louisiana truck accident, talk to an experienced New Orleans personal injury attorney who can help you understand your options.