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Trucking Companies With The Most Accidents (Statistics)

The trucking industry plays a crucial role in the US economy by offering essential services to both businesses and consumers. Truck driving is the largest occupation within the freight transportation industry in the United States, which includes rail, water, air, pipeline, couriers, and warehousing.

In 2021, there were a reported 3.49 million truck drivers, a 3.7% increase from the previous year as reported by the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

However, despite technological advances designed to increase safety, features and preventative measures within the trucking industry, innocent accident victims are injured in a tractor trailer accident regularly across America’s highways and interstates each year.

So buckle up… and let’s look at some of the most dangerous trucking companies across US roadways.

Which Trucking Companies Have the Most Accidents?

Here are some examples from well-known trucking companies. The information is based on data from the 24 months leading up to February 2021:

  • UPS – encountered a staggering 2,632 collisions, causing 950 injuries and 56 fatalities.
  • Werner Enterprises – recorded 983 accidents, resulting in 306 injuries and 24 deaths.
  • Averitt Express – reported 412 accidents, leading to 130 injuries and 8 fatalities.
  • Fedex Express – experienced 401 accidents, with 146 injuries and 9 fatalities.

Please note determining which trucking company has the most accidents is more complex than it sounds.

That’s because there are a variety of factors you must consider to determine this accurately.

Additionally, are you looking for the percentage of accidents based on the number of drivers a trucking company has or the overall number total?

These factors include the average number of drivers on the road, the drivers’ experience, the total miles driven per year, and the severity of the accidents.

For example, statistically speaking, trucking companies with a more significant number of trucks on the road (i.e., the size of the trucking company) will probably have more accidents by number but not necessarily by percentage.

Below you can see the disparity in the number of trucks and trailers a company has.

Largest Trucking Companies in the U.S. By Tractor Trailers

Company NameTractorsTrailers
UPS Inc.N/A120,000
FedEx29,000113,000
XPO Logistics8,10025,000
JB Hunt Transport15,80033,510
Schneider National13,75037,850
OLD Dominion Freight Line9,25035,720
YRC Worldwide14,10045,000
Werner Enterprises8,00023,000
Landstar10,59916,743
Averitt Express4,60015,000
Knight-Swift4,1509,530
ArcBest Corp.N/AN/A
Trucking Company Fleet by Tractors and Trailers [cite]

Regarding accidents reported, in the United States, the Department of Transportation has a critical mandate for carriers to report specific accident types classified as DOT-Recordable Accidents. 

As outlined in §390.15 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), carriers are required to document accidents that meet the following criteria:

  • A fatality occurring as a result
  • Injuries to people that demand medical attention beyond the incident site
  • One or more vehicles suffering “disabling damage” and needing towing from the scene

Let’s keep on trucking…

Trucking Company With the Worst CSA Score

The FMCSA evaluates the safety performance of trucking companies through various metrics, such as accident frequency, out-of-service rates, enforcement cases, and safety violations. This evaluation is commonly known as a Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) score.

A carrier’s CSA score serves as a reliable measure of the company’s overall safety performance. You can find each company’s score on the CSA website, where searching by company name or DOT number will provide a detailed overview of the company’s vehicles, drivers, accidents, investigations, and crash history.

All the trucking companies mentioned below (currently) have a CSA rating of “satisfactory.” To better understand their safety performance, it is useful to examine their Out of Service (OOS) rates. These rates are expressed as a percentage of inspections that resulted in vehicle failure, causing the vehicle to be deemed “Out of Service.” For instance, an OOS vehicle inspection rate of 20% implies that 2 out of 10 vehicles failed the inspection and were placed out of service.

National Averages for Out of Service Rates

  • 21.2% for vehicle inspections
  • 5.8% for driver inspections
  • 1.1% for hazmat inspections

Trucking Carriers With the Highest Out of Service Rates

Among the trucking companies mentioned earlier, CRST Expedited had the highest OOS rate for vehicle inspections, with 19.3% of CRST vehicles inspected being placed out of service.

The following companies completed the list of carriers with the top five OOS vehicle inspection ratings:

  • J.B. Hunt Transport: 18.7%
  • YRC Inc: 18.7%
  • Swift Transportation: 16.3%
  • FedEx Ground: 16.3%

For driver inspections, FedEx Ground had the highest OOS rating at 2.1%.

YRC Inc had the highest OOS rating for hazmat inspections, coming in at 6.7%.

Trucking Carriers With the Lowest Out of Service Rates

Among the carriers mentioned in this article, FedEx Express had the lowest OOS rate for vehicle inspections at 6.4%.

The following companies completed the list of carriers with the bottom five OOS ratings:

  • UPS: 10.5%
  • FedEx Freight: 12.3%
  • Schneider National Carriers: 14.6%
  • Averitt Express: 14.7%

FedEx Freight had the lowest OOS rating for driver inspections, standing at 0.4%.

Lastly, UPS had the lowest OOS rating for hazmat inspections at 1.1%.

How Many Trucking Company Accidents Happen A Year

The Traffic Safety Facts 2020 (NHTSA) report provides a comprehensive analysis of traffic accidents in the United States. 

The report cites that most fatalities are from auto accidents 94.7% (ie, passenger cars, light trucks, and motorcycles) versus large trucks at 4.8%. This makes sense considering the number of passenger cars on the road compared to large or commercial trucks.

One of the most critical tables in the Traffic Safety Facts report is (Table 46), which includes detailed information on large trucks involved in crashes by the most harmful event and crash severity. Depending upon the various point of impact with a semi-truck usually result in a catastrophic injury or death.

The table shows that most trucking accidents are collisions with motor vehicles in transport, the most common harmful event, accounting for 73.3% of all large truck crashes. The table also breaks down the fatal accidents (wrongful death) and injuries resulting from each type of harmful event, providing valuable insights into the causes and consequences of large tractor-trailer truck accidents on the road across the United States. Unfortunately, trucking accidents accounted for 4,842 deaths in 2020 alone.

Trucking Accidents: Fatalities and Injuries By Event Type

Most Harmful EventFatal (#)Injury (#)
Collision With Motor Vehicle in Transport by Initial Point of Impact: Front2,09437,772
Collision With Motor Vehicle in Transport by Initial Point of Impact: Left Side37712,256
Collision With Motor Vehicle in Transport by Initial Point of Impact: Right Side20610,254
Collision With Motor Vehicle in Transport by Initial Point of Impact: Rear82524,180
Collision With Motor Vehicle in Transport by Initial Point of Impact: Other/Unknown470
Subtotal (Collision with Motor Vehicle in Transport)3,54986,463
Collision With Fixed Object2396,637
Collision With Object Not Fixed: Non-occupant5391,234
Collision With Object Not Fixed: Other/Unknown1044,213
Subtotal (Collision with Object Not Fixed)6435,447
Non-collision
Total*4,842106,902
The Traffic Safety Facts 2020, Table 46, (NHTSA)

When Is A Trucking Company Considered Dangerous?

When determining whether a trucking company is considered dangerous, the answer lies in its accident rate. Commercial truck accidents can be catastrophic and result in severe injury or death for those interested. As such, regulators are constantly tracking reports of truck accidents and analyzing them for patterns that could indicate unsafe practices by particular companies. In many cases, an experienced commercial truck accident lawyer can review records from specific companies and identify evidence of negligence or other factors that may have contributed to an accident.

In addition to looking at the overall rate of accidents within a given sector or region, there are specific indicators that can help determine if a trucking company is hazardous. For example, statistics show that drivers who work long hours on highways tend to be more prone to fatigue-related errors than those who spend most of their time driving on surface streets. Companies with high rates of fatigued drivers could potentially be identified as risky ones due to their failure to provide adequate rest periods for employees between shifts. 

Furthermore, when comparing different commercial truck companies, it’s essential to look beyond just the number of reported accidents. Also, it considers how often they were attributed to driver error versus mechanical issues with the vehicle itself.

Finally, any investigation into a trucking company‘s safety record should include reviews from outside sources like consumer advocacy groups or attorneys specializing in trucking accident law. Such professionals may be able to point out additional areas where negligent behavior was present, which led up to an incident occurring in the first place. 

With this information, consumers can make better-informed decisions about which carriers they choose during shipping operations while still knowing they’re taking steps toward preventing future tragedies related to unsafe organizations operating on American roads today. By researching these topics further and using available resources wisely, individuals can ensure their goods arrive safely without putting themselves at risk unnecessarily.

How To Check The Safety Of A Trucking Company Information

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the U.S. trucking industry and offers a search tool called the Company Snapshot as part of the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System.

The Company Snapshot is webpage that keeps an electronic record of a company’s identification, size, commodity information, and safety record. It includes the safety rating (if any), a roadside out-of-service inspection summary, and crash information.

From there you can see which trucking companies have the most accidents via the “snapshot” system. To search in the system, you’ll need either the name of the company or their USDOT number. To do this, one can look at the following:

  • Accident rates for a given fleet size
  • Safety and fitness electronic records
  • Commercial vehicle accident statistics

Additionally, some states require certain carriers to obtain specific documents showing compliance with regulations related to driver qualifications and hours worked/rested. It is beneficial to review this paperwork before hiring any truck carrier. Furthermore, commercial vehicle accident statistics provide detailed information about what types of large truck incidents occur on public roads annually. Knowing this data gives insight into potential risks associated with different trucking companies operating in your area.

Suppose all the above resources indicate that the trucking company has been involved in multiple accidents. In that case, additional precautionary steps should be taken before agreeing to hire them for a job. The next step would be to report an unsafe driver or fleet manager to their trucking company for further investigation and possible disciplinary action.

How To Report a Dangerous Driver To Their Trucking Company

It is essential to be aware of trucking companies with the most accidents so drivers can take extra caution and report any unsafe behavior. All motor carriers are subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which set minimum safety standards for interstate commercial vehicles such as large trucks and buses. 

Do Truck Drivers Get Fired If Involved In an Accident?

Many factors can decide if a truck driver gets fired after an accident. These include the accident’s severity, the driver’s history, company policies, and the law. Here’s a breakdown:

Company Policies:

  • Some trucking companies have strict accident policies. They especially care if accidents come from negligence or recklessness.
  • Accidents cause injuries, deaths, or major damage. They may trigger automatic firing or discipline.

Driver’s History:

  • The driver’s past record may influence the company’s decision. It includes any past accidents or violations.
  • A driver with a history of accidents or traffic violations might face more severe consequences.

Legal Obligations:

  • Trucking companies must adhere to federal and state regulations governing commercial transportation safety.
  • Accidents may trigger investigations by regulators. Companies could face penalties or legal action if found negligent in their hiring, training, or supervision.

Mitigating Circumstances:

  • Some accidents may occur due to factors beyond the driver’s control. These include bad weather or mechanical failures.
  • Companies might consider mitigating circumstances when determining disciplinary actions.

Alternative Measures:

  • In some cases, companies may choose retraining, counseling, or probation. They do this instead of immediate termination, especially if the driver has a clean record.

In the end, the employer decides to fire a truck driver after an accident. They consider the circumstances of the incident and the company’s policies.

Most Common Causes for Truck Driving Accidents

The most common causes of semi-truck accidents on US highways and roads include driver fatigue, speeding, distracted driving, poor weather conditions, and equipment failure. Other factors, such as improper maintenance, inadequate training, and overloaded or improperly secured cargo, can also contribute to these accidents. Additionally, with the various ways a truck driver get paid, particular payment incentives contribute to many of todays trucking accidents.

You can make a formal complaint against a trucking company or a dangerous truck driver here at the National Consumer Complaint Database

When reporting an unsafe driver to their trucking company, individuals need to provide evidence such as photos or videos of erratic driving behaviors along with details on when and where it took place. In addition, witnesses who may have seen or experienced similar incidents should come forward, if possible, to further support the claim. By taking these steps, one can help reduce the risk of future vehicle accidents caused by unsafe practices and driving violations within the industry. 

What To Do If I’m Involved In A Truck Accident (and Case Preservation For Your Attorney)

If you find yourself in a truck accident resulting in personal injury, it’s important to take necessary measures to protect yourself and pursue justice. As an accident victim, it’s in your best interest to preserve the evidence of your case. The following are some guidelines to follow that will help build a stronger injury claim against the party at fault and insurance company.

The first step is to remain at the accident scene and gather as much information as possible. Contact the authorities immediately if there are any injuries or fatalities involved. Additionally, exchange insurance details with other drivers present and take photographs of the accident site and the damages caused. Make sure you request a police report from the officers at the scene and get a your police report (or crash report) number.

It’s crucial to understand the type of carrier involved in the crash, as this determines the legal course of action. Commercial carriers refer to companies hired for transporting goods, while commercial vehicles are used for business transportation, including delivery vans, semi-trailer trucks, buses, etc.

Understanding the difference can help you and your lawyer formulate a strong legal strategy for your case. Knowing the type of carrier involved will help inform your legal strategy with an experienced truck accident attorney.

Summary

The transportation sector, specifically the trucking business, plays a vital role in the United States financial system, providing jobs for approximately 3.15 million individuals in various roles. Although there have been significant advancements in technology to enhance safety, mishaps still transpire regularly. 

The public needs to be able to report unsafe trucking driving to avert future calamities that could lead to a fatal crash. Furthermore, the FMCSA’s  “Company Snapshot” portal allows the public to investigate a truck company’s driving records further.

In case of a truck collision, it is critical to collect evidence, verify the kind of carrier implicated, and engage an experienced truck accident lawyer to pursue damages. Contact Trevino Injury Law if you need further assistance.

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