Armored Trucks and Mayhem on the Roads
I recently read an article concerning an investigation into Garda, a national and international armored car group moving millions of dollars across our roads and highways. The story is well written and recounts the stories of several survivors of terrible crashes with Garda trucks. For me, the most interesting information is found later in the article. The comparison of crash data among the entire industry. Garda’s overall number of wrecks and crashes per mile driven are the worst of any of the other armored car companies that it was compared to, and the numbers were not even close. Long hours, poor maintenance of vehicles, insufficient supervision, failure to use technology to better monitor drivers and ineffective hiring strategies are all cited as contributing factors to the mayhem on the roads.
The company was described as having a profit first culture. A former employee comparing Garda to one of its’ competitors (who he had worked for in the past) summed up the situation well: the competitor did a much better job of training drivers, providing safer trucks, and supervising its employees with dashboard cameras, among other things. The employee said that at the competitors, “every one of those safety rules had been written in blood.” I don’t know if that employee knows how true that statement really is.
Safety rules are developed as the result of preventable harm. When bad things happen, people wanting to avoid repeating the action put processes in place that prevent or lessen future harm. When these safety rules were followed every time, the result was the number of wrecks and wrecks per mile was decreased by 46% at one competitor and almost 80% at several other competitors. That means the Garda truck and driver is almost 50% more likely to be involved in a wreck. Since these trucks are typically big and heavy, these wrecks are more likely to have catastrophic effects on whoever is involved in the collision with the Garda truck.
To me, the story is about more than a single event crash, it is about the lack of serious safety rules enforcement necessary to keep the driving public safe. It is a choice that is repeated every day. Only when juries hold the company accountable for ensuring that these safety systems are in place and functioning will these statistics change. Lives will be saved, collisions avoided, and the roads will be safer for all of us who depend on companies insuring that their driving employees are qualified, have the rest that they need, have safe equipment and operate that equipment in a safe manner.
At the McCraw Law Group, we analyze any serious injury for just this sort of problem. Is the problem about more than a single event and can the work that we do not only provide for our client, but can it also lead to a safer world for us all? If you have been in a wreck with a work truck, work van, 18-wheeler or other commercial vehicle, then you should allow us to see if the wreck you or your loved one was in is a symptom of a much deeper problem.