If you have ever followed any news coverage of a truck accident in Texas or throughout the country, the truck driver’s defense often comes down to the fact that he or she was under intense pressure to meet certain delivery deadlines. Whether the driver was fatigued or operating the rig negligently, the root of the problem often seems to come down to a strict delivery schedule.
Most people can sympathize, or at least relate, to the stress that your employer can place on you. With bills to pay or a family to feed, you are probably all too familiar with the feeling of pushing yourself beyond the point of comfort for your work. It becomes almost hard to vilify a truck driver under the same amount of stress – after all, what are their other options?
About 30 years ago, the government had a similar concern. Truck drivers who would ordinarily opt out of driving because of safety concerns, concerns such as poor weather conditions or equipment issues, chose instead to drive at the risk of otherwise losing their jobs. The United States Department of Labor created the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, or STAA, as a means of protecting truck drivers who chose safety over performance, thus preventing potential truck accidents in Texas and across the nation.
Under STAA, a truck driver who was fired or otherwise disciplined because of their refusal to operate a truck under adverse safety conditions can seek protection. By filing a complaint with OSHA describing the matter, whether it was a refusal to commit a violation or reporting a safety issue, OSHA may be able to determine that the driver was in the right. If OSHA decides that the truck driver’s actions prevented a violation or led to the discovery of a violation, he or she may be reinstated in to the former position.
If you have been injured in a Houston truck accident caused by a reckless driver, call Texas commercial truck accident lawyer Steve Lee at 800-232-3711 for a FREE consultation today.
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