Trucks and buses are involved in over 100,000 accidents each year and the federal government recently confirmed it knows how to identify the most likely offenders. The criteria the government uses in determining the most dangerous trucking and bus companies is worth reviewing.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is responsible for overseeing the nation’s commercial vehicle safety, uses what is called the Safety Measurement System to evaluate the safety of truck and bus operators and drivers. The goals of the program include:
• Preventing catastrophic trucking accidents
• Identifying specific safety concerns involving commercial vehicle drivers
• Gauging the on-going safety performance of the trucking and motorcoach industries
The SMS replaced another program, so Congress mandated a review of SMS. The review recently was completed and the FMCSA reported its safety measurement tool is effectively identifying dangerous truck and bus companies and drivers.
The SMS uses roadside inspections and crash investigations to detect high-risk truck and bus companies. Analyzing previous years’ crash data with the new criteria, the FMCSA concluded the new criteria would have identified 90 percent of the high-risk truck and bus operators involved in accidents those years. The FMCSA also said that high-risk carriers are involved in accidents at twice the rate of the industry average.
Dangerous Truck Driver Behaviors
Factors the FMCSA now use to determine high-risk truck and bus companies include the extent to which they have:
• Drivers who operate their rigs carelessly, such as speeding or who are inattentive
• Drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on the road
• Drivers who are unfit physically or who lack proper training or experience
• Improperly maintained trucks and buses
This is further evidence that fatal trucking accidents and catastrophic bus crashes are largely due to negligent behavior, and therefore often are preventable.
If you were seriously injured or had a loved one killed in crash involving a truck or bus, you may want to consult an attorney who represents victims of catastrophic motor vehicle accidents to pursue just compensation from those responsible.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.