Earlier today, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it shut down an interstate trucking company after it found serious safety violations. The FMCSA ordered Gunthers Transport, LLC, an interstate trucking company based in Maryland, to immediately stop all trucking and transportation operations. Gunthers Transport is now out of service because it is an “imminent hazard to public safety.”
The FMCSA conducts both announced and surprise inspections to ensure that trucking companies maintain safe vehicles and operation procedures. If a trucking company routinely fails inspection after inspection, the FMCSA will order the trucking company to cease all operations. The FMCSA will conduct vehicle, driver, and hazardous materials inspections to monitor the safety of trucking companies.
The FMCSA shuts down a trucking company if its inspections reveal patterns that increase the likelihood of fatal or injurious Missouri truck accidents. The FMCSA ordered Gunthers to cease operations after it found repeated hours-of-service violations. More specifically, drivers for Gunthers falsified hours-of-service records submitted to the federal government with the trucking company’s knowledge. Their truck drivers repeatedly drove longer than 11 consecutive hours, in violation of federal law. When truck drivers operate large commercial motor vehicles for more than 11 hours, they dramatically increase the risk for Missouri trucking accidents caused by drowsy driving. Drowsy driving may lead to dangerously long reaction times, slower reflexes. Drowsy drivers may even fall asleep at the wheel. Hours-of-service regulations are vital for protecting the safety of the nation’s public roadways. Violations should be taken seriously by trucking companies and truck drivers.
The FMCSA’s inspections revealed multiple vehicle maintenance violations for Gunthers as well. Truck drivers for Gunthers did not perform safety inspections before operating their trucks. Pre-trip inspections are critical in preventing Missouri truck accidents. Simple driver inspections may reveal easily identifiable problems that cause serious accidents if left unattended. A trucking company that systematically neglects to enforce inspection requirements is a trucking company that does not value the safety of the public.