This is the fifth in a series of articles on how motor carriers can help avoid claims, including those that result in nuclear verdicts, by implementing and adhering to a strong safety and compliance program. Other trucking blogs can be viewed here.
It is no secret that insurance and other operational expenses are soaring for many trucking companies in the wake of rising litigation costs. Nuclear verdicts, lawsuits which result in judgments exceeding $1 million, are a major threat to the industry and your business. Studies have also shown that the underlying arguments for these verdicts often focus on the “dirty five”:
Many recent studies have shown that adhering to safety and operational policies is essential to staying out of court or avoiding liability (and nuclear verdicts) in the event of an accident. It's important to ensure drivers are properly trained and well-versed in safety and compliance procedures.
The FMCSA Carrier Compliance Questionnaire (CCQ) provides a helpful checklist to review your operations and identify areas where you can improve. This article focuses on hours-of-service (HOS), controlled substances/alcohol testing, and disciplinary/corrective action.
The CCQ asks questions and includes links related to the following items (among others):
While entry-level driver training and on-the-job experience may have given your drivers some knowledge, it’s up to you and your management team to set the tone on safety and compliance. It's important to create clear policies and expectations that are conveyed to drivers and reinforced with regular check-ins and refreshers. Keeping your company policies clear, transparent, and well-documented also shows your drivers that you’re committed to safety and that you have their backs in the event of an accident.
Acuity’s Motor Carrier Toolbox contains many helpful resources, such as links to HOS rules, drug and alcohol policy and compliance, driver distractions, and more. From driver hiring and training to safety and compliance, we have the tools you need to help bring your operation to the next level.
Need more information on how to avoid nuclear verdict and other important trucking topics? Check out Acuity’s Trucking Blog where we dive into the issues that matter most.
In the next blog, we will discuss the impact of nuclear verdicts in the trucking industry and provide some final thoughts on steps you can take to protect your business.
Have more questions on safety and compliance for your trucking operation? Check out other trucking-related resources we offer at Acuity to help grow your business safely and profitably!