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Chameleon Trucking Companies Can Get Away with… Murder

More than twice the number of deaths occur in auto accidents involving large, commercial trucks than do in accidents involving two regular-sized cars. The potential for life-changing injury is greater too. Fortunately, there are laws in place to force trucking companies to obey safety guidelines, such as those designed to prevent trucker fatigue and poorly maintained equipment. A series of safety violations, accidents between semis and passenger cars, and other problems can result in huge fines, loss of operating licenses, and higher insurance rates.

Unfortunately, chameleon trucking companies try to fly under the radar so they can get away from these types of penalties.

The injury attorneys at Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you have significant experience in helping clients who have been in an accident with chameleon trucking companies.  Our offices are conveniently located in nearby ChandlerPeoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in-person at our nearby offices, over the phone, or video call.  You can contact us for a free consultation, or read on to find out more.

By the way, we will also help with other problems that have cost you sleep, like getting a rental car very soon and finding a nearby doctor who can help you. Even the best legal team isn’t good enough if your quality of life isn’t sustainable while justice and compensation are on the way. The whole point of legal action is to regain quality of life, so we help you long-term as attorneys and short-term as your go-to people. Our familiarity with the local Phoenix courts makes us confident that we can help you get the best settlement possible.

What Are Chameleon Trucking Companies?

Trucking companies have a series of laws regarding driver safety and training, and are responsible for keeping a record of how safe their drivers are. This record is compiled using training, driving, and accident statistics. Reputable trucking companies care about their safety records. Chameleon trucking companies don’t care because they will just change their name anyway.

Chameleon trucking companies establish a horrible safety record with their drivers and before they’re penalized, they shut down and reopen as a new business entity. This leads to a cycle of chameleon trucking companies hurting people in trucking accidents, never changing their practices, and never getting penalized.

Like a chameleon, they change their outward appearance to survive.

Chameleon Trucking Companies and the Government Accountability Office

The Government Accountability Office estimates that more than 1,100 “new” trucking companies in 2012 were actually chameleon carriers—and 18% of those were part of severe trucking accidents that often resulted in death. That means that potentially, around 200 serious trucking accidents could have been prevented.

Why Semi-truck Accidents Occur

Truck accidents occur in chameleon trucking companies for many of the same reasons that accidents occur with legitimate companies.

The reality is that most trucking accidents are caused by distracted driving of some sort. Here are some of the most common causes:  

  • Driver Fatigue: Driving a truck is a very high stress job with long hours and not much room for errors. Often, companies will require drivers to deliver goods in a very short period of time, which means that truck drivers drive extremely long distances on very little sleep, with limited breaks for rest. This all means that many truck drivers are exhausted, which reduces reaction time and can lead to accidents.  
  • Distracted DrivingBecause truckers drive such long distances, they might search for entertainment, especially when radio may not be the best. This may tempt many drivers to text, turn on a podcast, or otherwise look away from the road. Additionally, since many drivers don’t take breaks, the simple act of eating may cause them to take their eyes off the road and lose concentration.  
  • Driving Under the InfluenceWhile you may not think that trucking has a high rate of alcohol and other substance abuse, it does. Drivers may use stimulants such as amphetamines or cocaine. A recent study from Reuters showed that 30% of truck drivers admitted to taking amphetamines while on the clock. An additionally 20% used marijuana, and 3% used cocaine. These drugs may help drivers stay awake, but they also reduce reaction time and lead to more risky or aggressive driving.  
  • Speeding: Sometimes, the unfortunate reality is that truck drivers may not make their deliveries on time. If the driver thinks that they will lose their job, or get a decrease in pay, if their delivery doesn’t make it on time, they will be more likely to speed. This causes problems not only for when the driver may not have enough distance between them and the front car, but also if the front car swerves to move out of the way into another lane.  
  • Poor Training: Although companies have training programs for truckers, sometimes those programs aren’t followed. In the event of poor weather, such as rain, sleet, snow, or wind, the truck driver must be extra careful to go slower than the posted speed limit to avoid hydroplaning or skidding. If the driver isn’t trained for these weather conditions, they will likely cause an accident.  
  • Maintenance: It’s routine for trucking companies to require that each truck is inspected before it goes out on the road. However, due to time cuts, expenses, or other reasons, this doesn’t always happen. If a part breaks down in the middle of the drive, it can lead to trucking accidents.  
  • Cargo: You might be wondering “What does cargo have to do with me?” In an ideal situation, it has nothing to do with you. However, cargo that is too heavy or improperly packed can cause a multitude of accidents. Not only can it spill out the back if the door is not latched correctly, it can also cause an imbalance of weight, which could lead to the truck tipping over or being unable to go up steep inclines. Any way you put it, if something is wrong with the cargo, it can lead to catastrophic accidents.  

Drivers can be careless, trucks can be improperly loaded, or vehicles can have mechanical problems that could have been solved with routine maintenance. There are dozens of reasons behind tragic semi-truck accidents, but one thing is for sure: it’s not right for trucking companies with a terrible safety record to be able to keep operating under a different name.

These chameleon trucking companies prey on loopholes in the law to the detriment of innocent people. They do not operate under good faith, and by changing their name and appearance, they directly contribute to the harm of innocent victims.

All accidents involving a trucking company is devastating. It’s even worse when the chameleon trucking companies can change their name and avoid repercussion, or even better training.

If you’ve involved in an accident with a semi-truck, a tour bus, or any other large vehicle, you deserve answers. Was the company cited for previous safety violations? Could they have taken preventive action that would have saved you from all of this pain and suffering? Working with a trucking accident lawyer can help you get those answers; and if you get compensation, she may be able to help you get it.

Chameleon trucking companies can be hard to track down, and often, settlements are harder to get on your own.

What Do You Think?

At Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you, we have more than 15 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries, including those from chameleon trucking companies in the Phoenix area. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office, conveniently located near you.

If you have been in an accident with chameleon trucking companies, contact Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm in nearby Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in your area including ChandlerGilbertMesaScottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.


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a month ago

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a year ago

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2 years ago

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