Have you ever owned a beat-up car that barely ran and you knew it was “only a matter of time” before you would be forced to leave it at the side of the road? Imagine that car was a semi truck—and was being driven by someone who hadn’t slept in sixteen hours.
Unfortunately, this scenario played out recently when a Colorado-based trucking company was ordered to close due to numerous safety violations.
Trucking Company’s Violations Highlight the Dangers on U.S. Highways
Earlier this month, U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) abruptly halted all operations at Sorbon Transport, Inc., declaring the trucking company to be an “imminent hazard to public safety.”
The FMCSA revealed that its safety investigators found numerous violations of federal regulations, potentially putting the lives of truck drivers and road users at risk of a tragic truck accident. Investigators uncovered critical issues in the fleet and drivers at Sorbon Transport, including:
- Failure to maintain vehicles. Inspectors found that Sorbon Transport could not provide necessary vehicle inspection reports or any proof of a regular maintenance or repair program for its commercial vehicles.
- Failed roadside inspections. A roadside inspection in February uncovered eight separate out-of-service violations and six maintenance-related violations in a single vehicle; a second inspection on a different vehicle uncovered fourteen more violations.
- Hours-of-service violations. Driver logs are necessary to ensure that drivers comply with rest breaks and hours-of-service regulations to prevent drowsy driving. Sorbon Transport could only provide a handful of driver duty records, but those that were discovered showed multiple hours-of-service violations in a single journey.
- Failure to hire qualified drivers. Sorbon Transport could not show any record of federally-required driver drug testing or blood alcohol testing documentation, nor could it prove that its drivers were qualified to operate commercial motor vehicles.
Although the FMCSA imminent hazard order prevents Sorbon Transport from using any of its vehicles for interstate and intrastate travel, many other companies with similar violations are still at large. Some have even been cited by federal regulators, but continue to cut corners on safety, putting drivers and passengers at risk with each load they tow.
If the semi that caused your accident was ordered off the roads by a federal investigator, the trucking company could be ordered to pay up to $60,000 in civil penalties—and may even be subject to criminal charges.
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If you've been injured in a tractor trailer accident you need to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.