Understanding the Dangers of Chameleon Carriers
- August 27, 2014
- Truck Accidents
What is a Chameleon Carrier
To understand the dangers chameleon carriers pose to motorists, you must first know what a chameleon carrier is. A chameleon carrier is a trucking company that re-registers with the U.S. Department of Transportation under a different name.
Why would a Trucking Company do this?
Many trucking companies have shown they will do whatever it takes to make as much money as possible. In this pursuit of profit, they will often cut corners and put others at risk. A trucking company with a record of breaking regulations will damage it’s reputation and often incur fines – ultimately costing them money.
They get around this by re-registering as a new company. Once registered under a new name, they now appear to consumers as a safer, more trustworthy company. Rather than take responsibility for their actions, pay their fines and make changes to the way they do business, they will instead to choose to shut down and reopen under a new name.
How Prevalent are Chameleon Carriers
Knowing what we know as truck accident attorneys about the way trucking companies do business, it’s still shocking to learn how many of these dangerous carriers there are. The Government Accountability Office suspects there were 1,136 new applications from these chameleon carriers in 2010 alone. Even more disturbing, the GAO found that 18 percent of chameleon carriers were previously involved in catastrophic accidents.
Why are Chameleon Carriers so Dangerous?
As the GAO points out, these carriers are three times as likely to have been involved in a serious accident than non-chameleon carriers. These carriers have shown a track record of operating negligently and dangerously. By shucking accountability and re-registering, these chameleon carriers are showing an unwillingness to become safer. They would rather continue business as usual under a new name than change for the better.
Truck accidents are already a large enough danger for motorists. They are a major cause for fatal and catastrophic accidents. When you have a large number of companies willing to cut corners in regards to driver training and safety, truck maintenance and safety oversight, the possibility of severe accidents increases. The last person other motorists need on the road is a truck driver and company with a proven track record of negligence.
What Can be Done?
We will never be able to avoid trucking accidents altogether. The trucking industry is a major component of the U.S. economy and there are many trucking companies that conduct their business safely and responsibly. What we can do, however, is do every thing we can to ensure companies that have a history of dangerous activity are taken off the road. Re-registering under a new name shouldn’t be the go-to option for dangerous trucking companies. We should demand stricter regulations and oversight.
We also urge truck accident victims to exercise their rights following and accident and ensure these companies are held accountable. Time and again, trucking companies have put profits over safety and the best way to punish them is through a civil lawsuit. Not only do truck accident lawsuits provide compensation to victims for the tragic consequences of these wrecks, but they also hurt these company’s bottom line, which is obviously what is most important to them.