The private sector takes a stab at improving truck driver safety

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2016 | Truck Accidents

Federal regulators aren’t the only ones who can take a proactive approach to minimizing truck accidents. The 12th largest commercial trucking company in America, U.S. Xpress, recently announced it would reward safe driving records among its employees with a pay raise.

According to the press release, the safety pay hike must be earned prospectively, starting in March. U.S. Xrpess solo truck drivers who make it a year without any accidents or tickets will see their base mile pay increased by about 13.5 percent.

This initiative is certainly laudable. However, it also rewards a result: the press release does not provide insights about how that one-year safety goal may be achieved. The silence, perhaps in the interest of brevity, might also be attributed to the controversy that surrounds federal truck safety regulations. 

For example, the so-called 14-hour rule has been hotly contested. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website, the rule restricts property-carrying truck drivers from driving more than 14 consecutive hours after the start of their shift, after being off-duty for at least 10 or more consecutive hours. Yet critics claim that the rule penalizes drivers from taking a nap, as it might interrupt the calculation of consecutive hours. Others suggest the rule was passed for the ease of FMCSA investigators or other enforcement officials, rather than for safety-related reasons.

Although the federal safety regulations may be imperfect, evidence of violations may nevertheless prove persuasive in a civil negligence suit. As a law firm that focuses on personal injury litigation, including truck accidents, we know the impact that rule violations can make upon a jury. We are well acquainted with these rules and can help a crash victim pursue all theories of liability. 

Source: Overdrive, “Large carrier announces pay increase for safe drivers,” Jan. 20, 2016

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