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Fired for an accident caused by someone cutting my brake lines.

by Anonymous

Well I am a semi truck driver and just recently, was called up and not to return to work. I'm sure that's being fired. My brakes were cut by someone and as a result caused and accident on the highway. The police had me do like a test run with my semi truck and that's how we found out that they were cut. If I just squeezed my break pads lightly then they worked but if I had to put alot of pressure, it didn't work. That was the case when I had to brake and my brakes didn't work. I was okay but the person I rearened and the person that was behind me in smaller cars were taken to the hospital. They didn't die.

Hi Anonymous,

I'm going to assume .. based on some experience with trucking companies unemployment hearings, that they did conduct and investigation .. the trucking company that is or they are in the process of doing so.

Now, I'll ask if you have ever been involved in any other accidents and if so, how many?

Did you receive a citation?

Who was responsible for the service of your tractor?

I'm assuming it was the tractor brakes.

And finally, any idea what or who might be responsible for your "cut brake lines"? That's an allegation I'd think might carry some criminal intent on someone's part.

You do realize, Anonymous that the employer will need to prove that the accident was caused by YOUR neglect .. after all, you are a professional driver.

There is not a simple yes or no answer. Either way the initial decision goes, the likelihood that either you or the employer will appeal .. is pretty good. The hearing will explore the facts to determine whether good cause for a discharge for misconduct existed.

It will be your job to bring up facts or present evidence which show the cause of the accident .. cut brakes lines .. were beyond your control, therefore, how could it be misconduct.

I'm sure an employer would focus more upon your failure to properly maintain your equipment.

What do you think?

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Safety Director thoughts
by: Disco Queen

Safety Director of a medium sized trucking company in Wisconsin and a former trucker for 20+ years.

Hold the horses on please....

The question that I have is this....did you not complete a proper pre-trip inspection as the beginning of your trip which includes the static brake checks (air up the system to 120psi, shut the tractor off and hold the brake pedal down to the floor and hold it for up to five minutes. This test is done to determine if you have an air leak somewhere in the system. A motor vehicle with air brakes CAN NOT lose more than 3psi within a one minute period you have an air leak problem and the vehicle is out-of-service (can not be used till the air leak or air loss issue is resolved).

Also per FMCSA regulations, the driver is 100% responsible to ensure the vehicle(s) they are to use is free from any defects that could have been discovered if the driver has completed their pre-trip or in-transit inspection(s).

If I was the motor carrier in this case, I would claim you (the driver) failed to complete an adequate inspection of your vehicle (air loss rate inspection) that would have uncovered a major defect (cut brake lines) and would have prevented the accident.

I will tell you driver...we do watch and see who does or does not complete an adequate inspection of there vehicles. The DVIR (daily vehicle inspection report) that never notes any problems with their vehicle(s) but the shop discovers issues each time they inspect your vehicle is proof that the driver(s) are not completing an inspection (pencil whipping the inspections instead).

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