Below you will find detailed information on the safety histories of some of the nation’s largest trucking companies. You’ve probably seen many of these companies’ trucks on the highway.
All carriers are required to report this information to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an agency under the Department of Transportation. The FMCSA routinely makes this information available to the public. The information below is from the most recent figures, which chronicle October 2010 to October 2012.
Check out this blog post that illustrates some of the key numbers in a bar graph.
How to Compare
Keep in mind when comparing these statistics that a company’s overall safety record is about more than simply the total number of accidents. A company’s safety is more accurately determined by comparing the number of accidents to the number of highway miles travelled. Likewise, the percentage of the accidents that cause injury or death, as opposed to those that simply damage property, is also important to understanding the general safety rating of a company.
For example, Swift Transportation reported 1,500 crashes over the two-year period, resulting in 38 deaths. Averitt Express tallied 308 crashes and 22 deaths in the same time frame—lesser in both categories. But Averitt trucks travelled 363 million miles in 2011 (the only year for which mileage totals are available). Swift trucks travelled 1.6 billion miles in 2011. This means accidents involving Averitt were far more likely to be fatal than those involving Swift, even though Swift registered more accidents-per-mile than Averitt.
Some Key Findings
- Perhaps due to the sluggish economy, most companies below reported fewer drivers employed and fewer miles travelled than in the two prior years.
- The total number of accidents and deaths associated with the companies, however, was largely unchanged in 2011 and 2012.
- Delivery powerhouse UPS cut its total number of crashes, but increased its accident and death numbers. In 1,448 accidents involving UPS trucks from October 2010 to October 2012, 541 people were injured, and 39 were killed. The company reported travelling a whopping 2.4 billion miles in 2011 – far and away the most miles logged by any carrier listed here.
- UPS also reported the highest number of drivers employed: more than 86,500. In second was the company’s lead competitor, FedEx, which reported more than 59,000 drivers.
For the curious, the pages below contain more than just accident information. The federal government compiles and reports extensive details that may be of interest, including:
- Inspections of vehicles, drivers and cargo
- Safety rating as determined by the government
- Number of drivers employed and trucks in operation
- The number of moving violation citations issued by authorities
- Examples of an actual accident report
This List is Not All-Inclusive
While these may be some of the nation’s largest trucking companies, they hardly account for all — or even most — of the trucks on the road. The deaths tallied in these statistics are a fraction of the 3,675 reported in 2010 from accidents involving trucks. The bulk of those deaths were occupants of another vehicle, not the truck.
The companies listed here and not necessary the most dangerous ones on the road. The number of miles travelled and accidents logged—and the severity of those accidents—varies wildly between companies.
The Truck Accident Attorneys believe these statistics offer a snapshot of how the government tallies the safety history of large trucking companies. They offer a glimpse into how many accidents involve companies you know by name, and how many motorists die each year in those accidents.
It is through sharing and analyzing this and other information that we can help make our roads safer for truck drivers and ordinary motorists alike.