The Tale of the so-called “Chameleon Carriers”
While the law requires truck drivers and trucking companies to ensure that trucks are well maintained and properly operated (through disciplined driving), the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that many drivers are allowed to drive despite having bad driving records and warnings from their safety officers. Many truck drivers have also been found to be intoxicated with alcohol, which is one of the major causes of fatal truck accidents.
Worse than these is the means employed by many carriers. These re-register under a new name with the Department of Transportation, in order to evade penalties and liability for repeated violation of federal safety rules.
Studies by the Department of Transportation have revealed the existence of so-called “chameleon carriers,” which simply change their names and corporate structure to be able to continue their operations. However, while avoiding legal responsibilities for their traffic violations, these “chameleon carriers” also continue and even become more dangerous on the road.
More than two million semi-trucks or big rigs operate on US roads and highways and, for years now, the NHTSA has continued to record about half a million accidents involving a number of these truck, which cause more than 100,00 injuries and at least 4,000 deaths.
Truck drivers who drive while intoxicated should never be excused from facing legal responsibility, but so are their employers, who allow them to continue driving despite their bad record. Removal of bad drivers from the road is strictly mandated by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 and violation of this Act should make employers much more responsible before the law than their drivers since this would be a case of obvious negligence and reckless behavior of choosing profit over public safety.
According to the Abel Law Firm website, no amount of money can ever undo the pains and suffering experienced by a victim of a truck accident. Severe injuries, much more the death of a loved one, simply because of someone’s act of negligence, merit the victim and/or his/her family the justice that he/she deserves and the full amount of compensation that the law may permit.