Lawyers who handle trucking cases have known for years that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is underfunded and understaffed. As citizens, we rely on the government to protect us from the carnage of a truck reeling out of control on the highway. But, the sad truth is, the government is basically powerless when it comes to controlling trucking companies who operate with impunity. We, at the Bailey and Oliver Law Firm, believe the only way to make our highways safer, is for juries to return a fair verdict to compensate those injured by unsafe trucks and send a message to trucking companies that it is more cost effective to run safe rigs than to pay for the carnage created by unsafe trucks.
Just this last Saturday in Kentucky six people were killed when a Highway Star, Inc. eighteen wheeler rammed into the rear of a SUV driven by James Gollnow. The trucking company had received 17 traffic violations over the two years before the wreck, but still had a slightly better record of passing safety inspections and traffic stops then the national average.
The violations were for speeding, improper lane change, failure to wear a seatbelt, and following too closely to another vehicle, the cause of the fatal crash in Kentucky. During the preceding two year period, 12 of 59 inspections of Highway Star’s trucks resulted in the truck being taken out of service. That means that one out of every five Highway Star, Inc. trucks was unsafe and should not have been on the highway. But, the astonishing thing about that is that is below the national average of inspections that result in vehicles being taken out of service during an inspection.
Highway Star, Inc. is not a small trucking company. It owned or leased 29 trucks with 32 power units. It owned 19 tractors and 31 trailers. Highway Star, Inc. employed 31 drivers according to information posted on quicktransportsolutions.com.
Everyone at the Bailey and Oliver Law Firm regrets the tragic deaths in Kentucky. We are committed to making our highways safer for families like those killed in Kentucky.