If you get hit by an exhausted truck driver who has been on the road for far longer than permitted by law, your first thought may be that it’s the driver’s fault for breaking those regulations.
What you need to consider, though, is that the driver may simply have been doing what was asked (or required) of them. Did the trucking company order them to break the safety rules and make it clear they had better comply or find another employer?
How commonly do the rules get broken?
In the Harvard Business Review, it was written that “All of us, at some point or another, are asked to break the rules at work.”
In some cases, it feels minor. You’re asked to fudge some numbers. Other times, it feels major, and potentially dangerous — such as when your boss asks you to ignore safety regulations and just get the job done quickly.
This same issue can and does happen to truck drivers. The companies that they work for have deadlines to meet. When something prevents the driver from hitting that headline, such as getting caught in a construction zone, the driver may reach the end of their driving limit without having arrived. Putting it off until the following day may create a chain reaction of lost production and could cost the company money. This is when it may be “suggested” to the driver that they just alter their work logs and drive longer than they’re allowed so that they don’t miss that deadline.
What can you do if you’re injured in a truck accident?
The hope that the company had was that they’d get away with the violation and no one would get hurt. If you’ve already been injured, that clearly didn’t happen. You need to know what options you have to seek compensation from that company.