Right now, the incentive for semi-truck companies and drivers is profits. When profit outweighs safety, you end up with people getting seriously injured or killed. The defense of the truck companies is ignorance. Ignorance is not an excuse under the law. The two main lines of defense against this ignorance are lawsuits and regulation changes.
There are some lawsuits that are filed against trucking companies when someone is seriously injured or killed, but the magnitude of these cases is still outweighed by the incentive to have drivers tow too many hours, run too many shifts in a row, and make as much money for the trucking company as possible.
Until there are regulations which contain enough teeth to prevent the continuing and often flagrant violations of trucking companies of the safety rules designed to protect the public at large, the semi-truck industry will continue to operate in a way that threatens every driver on the road. There are multiple regulations, such as the following:
- 395.8 Log book violation
- 395.8F1 Drivers Record of Duty Status is not current
- 391.11B2 Non-English Speaking Driver (all drivers must speak English)
- 392.2SLLS2 Speeding (more than 6-10 over the speed limit)
The problem is, these regulations are difficult to enforce. If the regulations are violated, only certain regulations cause a semi-truck driver to lose his license, or force the hiring truck company to suspend the driver.