The DOT is not out to make your life hard
The DOT isn’t focused on making your life a living hell. Sure, sometimes it seems like the rules are dumb and are just there to make life harder for you. But the majority of the rules are there to protect your drivers and others from preventable accidents. Profits are important, but nothing is more important than another person’s life.
You can get shut down
Let’s say you’re sloppy with managing inspection reports. You collect the sheets and never really check them over, therefore a maintenance issue has been missed. You could go months without an accident, and one day it just happens. When the investigator can prove negligence, you could be shut down for days or weeks at a time; sometimes permanently.
It’s expensive to get fined
Violations can add up quick. A common example of this is when companies don’t verify previous employers during the hiring process. You may think, “It’s no big deal” at the time. But when you’re audited, you are going to get fined for each driver that you didn’t run through the proper steps. Sometimes the total of the fines exceeds what you would have paid for an administrator to do it for you.
You could be held personally responsible
Most people think that anything that happens on company time is not their personal problem. The issue with that is, it’s completely wrong. If there is an accident, there is a good chance a lawsuit is coming. If you’re in charge of anything safety or compliance related, you best believe your name will come up in the lawsuit. It’s not uncommon that a compliance manager can have charges filed against them for something they could have prevented. That’s why it’s critical to voice your concerns to your management in writing.
It’s the right thing to do
We know how important it is to make sure your company is profitable. However, there is nothing more important than protecting the well-being of others. We know that you don’t wake up in the morning thinking; “hmmm, I think I will put a driver in a truck so he can get in a crash and hurt people”. The problem is that most people don’t think that a crash will happen at all. Although the rules sometimes seem out of line or even ridiculous in some cases. Most of the rules are in response to crashes that have already occurred.
Stay compliant, go above and beyond the regulations to ensure your drivers and trucks are the safest they can be. Accidents happen, but crashes can be prevented with proper procedures in place.
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