Tort Reform, True Accident Cost & The Best Way To Get Into Trucking

by Elyse Byers
2 min read
March 10, 2023

On this episode of The Road Forward, Alex, Flint, and Matt discussed laws to protect trucking companies, roadway fatalities, and they gave their thoughts on this question: what’s the best way to start a trucking company?

Laws to Protect Truckers

A recent article by FreightWaves explored the question of whether or not there should be laws to protect trucking companies involved in serious lawsuits. Some states are adjusting their standards for finding trucking companies accountable and putting a cap on non-economic damages when a driver is sued. Flint argued that instead, a limit should be put on how much compensation can be given to accident attorneys, as they often take half of the payout. The issue is not that companies and/or negligent drivers are being held accountable. Instead, the proposed reforms are needed to prevent frivolous lawsuits from putting trucking companies out of business, not to mention raising the price of insurance.

Read the full article here.

Roadway Fatalities

A graphic from FreightWaves lays out some statistics for roadway fatalities. Unfortunately, in roadway fatalities involving trucks, it’s usually the truck driver who is blamed whether or not they were at fault. Over the last 30 years we had been seeing a steady decline in fatal crashes, however these numbers started to climb again in 2020 and 2021. One theory we discussed is that this sudden rise could have been caused indirectly by the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time many people moved out of urban areas, meaning a longer commute and more time on the road. 

In the past, it seems that improvements in safety standards contributed to the decline in fatalities. However, these improvements were mainly targeted at keeping passengers safe in the event of a crash. Going forward, efforts to improve safety should be made to prevent collisions, targeting the actual root of the issue.

Check out more statistics here.

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Best Way to Start a Trucking Company

We asked this question to our industry experts, and they had some insightful thoughts: 

  • Buy, don’t build; it may be more successful to buy out an existing company instead of starting from the ground up.
  • Run local or regional routes.
  • Choose a field that is highly specialized as opposed to hauling general commodities. This will give you an edge and limit competition. If there is some barrier to entry into your chosen field, it will be harder for owner-operators to compete.
  • If you will be running P&D, purchasing used vehicles is the way to go. This can save you money in the long run.
  • If you will be running trucks and trailers that don’t require a CDL to operate, you will likely have an easier time finding and hiring drivers.

If you already have a fleet, did you know that using driver-facing dash cameras is an effective way to protect you and your drivers in the event of an accident? Check out TruckSpy's AI dash cam here.

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