If you’re in the trucking business, you definitely want to stay out of the courtroom. But with millions of tons of truck on the road every day, that’s hard to guarantee. Driver training, maintenance, and good management help you mitigate that risk as much as possible. But what are you to do when one of your drivers fails to live up to regulations, and the worst occurs? This is where the Infinit-I Workforce Solutions steps in to protect you and help mitigate legal trucking liability.
How Our System Mitigates Legal Trucking Liability
Liability and due diligence
Let’s look at a scenario. One of your drivers gets into an accident, which occurs at 4:00 in the morning. The prosecuting attorneys present the case that your driver may have been tired or even asleep at the wheel. Whatever actually happened that night, it is your responsibility to show the court that you have trained this driver, and all your drivers, to properly manage fatigue.
You could lose tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages if you cannot meet any one of these requirements:
- Prove the driver received fatigue management training
- Prove the driver received this training with enough frequency to be deemed effective
- Prove the driver has had any past problems with fatigue immediately remediated
- Render up signed and dated documentation to this effect
Doing it the same old way puts you at risk
With training systems limited to in-person training and paper documentation, this kind of scenario can be a challenge. First of all, there is no guarantee that all of your drivers will be present at any given training session, which means that any driver who misses training is an increased liability in a courtroom. In fact, you’re probably lucky if you can get half your drivers to a training day.
And then your on-site training might take place three or four times a year. Is that going to be enough to prove you’ve done your job? Are you covering all the topics your drivers need in a systematic way?
When it comes to remediations, you may be able to do this by sending someone to do a remote training with your drivers off-site. But how often do these get put off because they’re costly or inconvenient?
Finally, there’s the issue of organization. Paper documentation, even computer files, are easy to misplace and misfile. Employee turnover and multiple trainers increase that risk. Staying meticulous and systematic with every piece of paper can almost feel like a full-time job. And a prosecuting attorney’s full-time job is to find just such loopholes.
How Infinit-I Workforce Solutions fights negligence
If you’re heading to a deposition, you need to provide documents that can dispel every shadow of a doubt about your due diligence:
“If it is not signed and dated, it never happened.”
Not only does our online system work with you to train drivers frequently, effectively, and efficiently, it also automatically provides you with the documentation you need for the courtroom, shifting the question of negligence to the situation and away from the company. Every time a driver finishes a training module, that module is signed, dated, and archived in a cloud-based system.
All of our documentation is:
- Held in a third-party server
- Accepted by courts
This means that if an accident happens, small or large, you are not shuffling papers and hoping you’ve got what you need. You’re confident and prepared.
Going the extra mile
Not only does Infinit-I Workforce Solutions let you do what you need to do to stay legal, but we’ll also customize your training packages to help you go the extra mile and show that your number-one concern is safety.
For example, a driver who is technically legal and within maximum working hours might still be fatigued and end up in a bad situation like the one described above. Someone who has obeyed the law to the letter can still end up in a four-car pile-up. You want to protect yourself, but beyond that, you want to do everything you can to actually prevent accidents, and prove it.
Fatigue management is one example of a training module that can help protect you in court. Another is distracted driving. A recent study has shown, for example, that there is no difference between drivers on hands-free devices and drunk drivers. Infinit-I Workforce Solutions training modules address common types of distracted driving, such as texting, as well as distracted driving that doesn’t get as much “face time,” such as route mapping and road rage.
Merely obeying the letter of the law doesn’t prevent accidents and won’t guarantee to keep you from lawsuits.
Escape the tough cases
There are times when a truck driver is clearly at fault, such as the case of the Walmart truck driver who struck comedian Tracy Morgan’s limousine almost 3 years ago in a fatal crash. (That settlement was in the millions.)
In other cases, you might be surprised at what a prosecuting attorney brings up.
For example, a driver stopped at a light is rear-ended by a motorcycle, and your trucking company is sued because of a relatively minor violation, such as the truck’s brake light out or a driver out of hours on the log. A lawyer can build the case that even though the truck was stationary, your driver was at fault because the back of the truck was harder to see, or the truck would not have been at that intersection at all if your driver had stayed within hours.
In short, you need to train consistently, stay organized, and think ahead to protect yourself against litigation. All training issues have a common thread. The Infinit-I Workforce Solutions system is set up to keep trucking companies on their toes and avoid surprises in the courtroom.