U.S. truckers are coping with the price increase as best they can by lowering speeds and using auxiliary power units when the truck is idling, but according to the latest edition of the Roemer Report, the CEO of the  American Trucking Associations  wrote to government officials, saying that “Even with these efforts, it is easy to see why many trucking companies are reporting that higher fuel prices have greatly suppressed profits, if they are making a profit at all. We are not only concerned about fuel’s direct impacts on our industry, but also its effects on the nation’s economy, which is likely to be in a recession.”

I continue to wonder about the implications of rising oil prices on the trucking industry in general, and trucking safety in particular.

If truckers are in distress, will they be more likely to cheat on hours of service, maintenance, etc., with the predictable impact on safety and bad incidents?

Will the same economic distress lead them to cut out excess insurance coverage and skip payment on insurance premiums? As long as there is an MCS-90 endorsement or a state Form E, etc., in place, we can recover on that. However, if they can’t maintain coverage, they can’t continue to operate.

The demise of small truckers will lead to consolidation in the trucking industry. Will the larger carriers do a better job in managing safety, reducing bad incidents? Or will they just do a better job of cheating, making it harder to uncover the bad stuff?

The Shigley Law Firm  represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases arising from motor carrier accidents statewide in Georgia.  Recently elected Secretary of the State Bar of Georgia, Ken Shigley has been designated as a "SuperLawyer" in Atlanta Magazine and one of the "Legal Elite" in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and former chair of both the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, bus wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks.