It’s a startling statistic. The United States Department of Transportation estimates that over 500,000 truck accidents occur every year, injuring or killing one person every 16 minutes. Perhaps, even more alarming is the fact that Pennsylvania is one of five states notorious for having the highest number of commercial truck-related accidents. We share this unwelcoming title with California, Texas, Florida and Georgia.
Commercial Truck Accidents: The Facts
According to data our organization recently collected from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 381 fatalities and 7,728 injuries in Pennsylvania involving commercial trucks from 2015 to 2017. Our research also found that:
- 64 percent of the PA trucking companies examined not only topped the list for having the highest number of injuries, but they also topped the list for having the highest number of fatalities.
- Incredibly, despite having been involved in accidents that led to multiple fatalities and dozens of injuries, many of these trucking companies continued to remain in operation.
What Our Data Shows – The Most Dangerous Trucking Companies
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) leads the way in the number of traffic-related injuries occurring in “The Keystone State.” Over a two-year period, accidents involving the company resulted in 478 injuries. FedEx Ground Package System Inc. follows in second with 114 traffic-related injuries. New Prime Inc. comes in third with 104 traffic-related injuries. Twenty-three other companies were involved in 65 accidents or less over a two-year period.
Both FedEx Ground Package System Inc. and CLJ Trucking Inc. tied at five for having the highest number of traffic fatalities each over a two-year-period. SEPTA, XPO Logistics Freight Inc., and Greatwide Dedicated Transport I LLC came in third with four fatalities over a two-year period. The remaining 23 companies had three or less fatalities over a two-year period. To see how other trucking companies compared, see below:
The Cause of Most Commercial Trucking Accidents
Approximately 90% of all traffic crashes involve some sort of driver error, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The FMCSA reports that driver fatigue is responsible for roughly 30 percent of all commercial truck accidents.
After analyzing the requested data, we noticed a common trend among most of the trucking companies that made our “most dangerous” list. Surprisingly, bad weather and slick roads were not factors in many of the wrecks involving the trucking companies identified on the list. An overwhelming majority of these crashes occurred when:
- The road surface at the time of the accident was dry.
- The accidents occurred during daylight hours. (NOTE: More than 66 percent of truck accidents nationwide occur during the day)
- Most of the accidents occurred during normal weather conditions.
Some form of poor/degraded driver performance or negligence is generally present in the majority of crashes, experts suggest. Alcohol use and speeding continue to be big contributors in fatal crashes, too.
The Long-Term Impact of Trucking Accidents
The impact of commercial trucking accidents is often permanent—especially for those directly impacted by a collision with a heavy commercial vehicle. Long-term care for victims seriously impacted often reaches in the millions of dollars. In fact, studies have shown that fatal tractor trailer accidents cost Americans more than $20 billion each year, $13.1 billion of which is the cost associated with loss of quality of life.
Do You Need Our Help?
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed in a wreck involving a large commercial truck, you may be entitled to punitive damages. Our talented team of attorneys may be able to fight for the justice you and your family deserves. Contact us today at (877) 958-7010 to find out how we can help you with your case.