The crossroads of America, interstates and highways, connect cities and states to one another in an intriguing web of concrete and pavement. There are people who make their living traversing the vast expanses between cities transporting goods back and forth between them. Semi-truck drivers or truckers have long been a source of fear, anxiety, and annoyance to the millions of motorist who take to the roads daily. Because of their size and, in some cases, their cargo, semi-trucks carry with them an elevated sense of danger.

Massachusetts has had its fair share of tragic truck accidents over the last several years, the most recent of which involved a stranded taxi on a bridge. An investigation has shown that Massachusetts has had higher rates of semi-truck mechanical, driver, and hazardous material violations than the national average for the over the past five years. These violations include things such as faulty brakes, drivers operating semi-trucks on suspended licenses and cargo not being secured, thus causing it to spill or fall. Whether the higher rates are from Massachusetts’ state police hard work or a string of oversights by truck drivers, the errors make the road less safe for all.

The condition and upkeep of a truck can be the difference between a tragic accident and a near miss. Victims of a semi-truck collision can use a truck’s and its driver’s condition at the time of an accident to prove negligence or another cause of action in a civil case. A history of repeated violations can even be used to show a company’s lack of compliance in failing to address a safety concern.

Addressing and fixing safety concerns before an accident occurs is in the long-term best interest of all parties involved. Those who forego safety for other concerns may find themselves facing a judge and the loved ones of a victim.

Source: CBS Boston, “I-Team: Unsafe Trucks On Mass. Roadways,” Joe Shortsleeve, May 13, 2014