Trucking is an important industry, moving different types of cargo across the country. Between the number of drivers themselves and the motorists with whom they share the road, it’s essential that everyone follow the safety rules and regulations that have been put into place. Truck drivers must keep up to date with training procedures, carry particular insurances, have certain operator licenses, submit to drug and alcohol testing, participate in a number of federally regulated health and safety measures, and much more. Similarly, each truck must undergo a list of in-house inspections and maintenance procedures. For a complete list of the regulations, visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Following these rules isn’t just an example of good, safe business practice. It’s also the law.
It appears that a Georgia trucking company based in LaGrange has been having some trouble following the rules. Last month, Industrial Transit, Inc., USDOT No. 814459, was ordered by the FMCSA to halt all intrastate and interstate operations based on findings that the company posed “an imminent hazard to public safety.” According to the FMCSA, each of the last 10 times that random roadside inspections were performed on the company’s trucks, they were followed by immediate orders to stay off the road or were cited for safety violations.
The extensive list of violations includes out-of-adjustment brakes, contaminated brakes, oil leaks, air-brake components working inadequately, and loose steering components. The company was also not performing the required drug and alcohol tests on their drivers, not properly following the regulations outlined by their hauling license, and using drivers who did not have a commercial license. Improper maintenance not only increases the likelihood of breakdowns, it also increases the risk that any hazardous material being hauled could result in a catastrophic spill, explosion, or other potentially deadly disaster.
In fact, one the company’s trucks was hauling volatile automobile air bag inflators made by Takata Corporation when it approached a curve at an unsafe speed, crashed, and caught fire. The air bag components exploded, destroying a nearby house and killing its occupant. Four other people were also injured. A post-crash investigation found Industrial Transit to be in violation of multiple federal safety statutes and regulations, and culminated in the imminent hazard out-of-service order, which states that the company’s “…complete and utter lack of compliance with operation of (federal safety regulations)…substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death for its drivers and the motoring public…this risk is heightened further when Industrial Transit transports [hazardous materials].” While getting these trucks off the road was a move in the right direction, Industrial Transit is far from the only company operating unsafely.
If you have been injured in a Georgia truck crash, or if you have any questions about this topic, you can find out more by discussing it with one of the personal injury attorneys at the Mann Law Firm. Based in Macon, we have successfully represented victims throughout Georgia who have been seriously hurt by negligent truck drivers. We have also assisted families who have lost loved ones in truck accidents. For advice on how to proceed next, or if you have any questions about this topic, call us at 478-742-3381 or submit our online form.