Trucking companies that change their name after safety violations are more likely to have accidents

“Chameleon Carriers” at High Risk for Truck AccidentsThe attractive little reptile known as the chameleon is able to change its colors for camouflage purposes, enabling it to hide both from its own prey and its predators. When trucking companies known as “chameleon carriers” change their appearance, something much more dangerous (from a human perspective) is going on.

What Are Chameleon Carriers?

A chameleon carrier is a trucking company with a history of re-registering under different names in order to disguise their former identity. This may be done for financial reasons—such as when a trucking company wants to reopen after a bankruptcy—but it is more often done to shed a dismal safety record. All a trucking company owner has to do is shut down, re-open under a different name, and get a new USDOT number to basically get a blank slate free of safety violations and accidents.

Are Chameleon Carriers Dangerous?

When chameleon carriers change their “colors” in order to escape a history of truck accidents and safety violations, it can be very dangerous. They are evading the procedures put in place to keep dangerous trucks off the roads, and it should come as no surprise that truck accidents are happening as a result.

According to a report from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), transportation carriers with chameleon attributes (meaning a carrier with registration information matching a previously registered carrier with a history of safety violations or other motive for evading detection) were three times more likely to be involved in a severe truck accident resulting in injuries or death.

How Big is the Problem?

According to the GAO report, the number of chameleon carriers is on the rise. Between 2005 and 2010, numbers of suspected chameleon carriers increased from 759 to 1,136.

A recent story from WOOD TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan identified a trucking company owner who had closed and reopened his business under new names at least four times.

What’s Being Done to Protect the Public?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration established a vetting program designed to catch chameleon carriers in 2008, after a bus accident that killed 17 people in Sherman, Texas. The bus company was a chameleon that had been ordered out of service under its prior name just two months before the accident. Trucking companies have only recently been added to the vetting program, which previously focused on companies transporting passengers.

Have You Been Injured in a Truck Accident?

Many truck accidents are caused by driver error and/or unsafe trucking company practices that make drivers more prone to error or trucks more prone to mechanical problems. If you have been injured in such an accident, the trucking company should be liable for your damages. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we have many years of experience with truck accidents and we can help you get the compensation you need and deserve from the trucking company. Contact us at 800-333-0000 for a free consultation about your case.

📞 Call 800-333-0000 Today!