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.
What Is a Chameleon Trucking Company?
A chameleon trucking company is one that has established a horrible safety record and before they’re penalized, they shut down and reopen as a new business entity.
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 accidents that often resulted in death.
Why Semi-truck Accidents Occur
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 a company with a terrible safety record to be able to keep operating under a different name.
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.
What Do You Think?
Have you encountered a chameleon trucking company, or were you injured by a truck driver with a terrible safety record? Join the discussion on our Facebook page.