A Truck Driver’s History of Safety Violations Predicts Future Crash Risk
New research suggests truckers with a history of safety violations are far more likely to be involved in a future truck or 18-wheeler accident than their counterparts who maintain a clean driving record.
4 Violations Increase Truck Accident Risk by More than 100%
The study, an update to the American Transportation Research Institute’s Predicting Truck Crash Involvement project, identified more than 25 different violations and convictions that increased the likelihood of future commercial trucking crashes, including four that increased the risk by more than 100%:
- Failure to Yield Right-of-Way violation (141% future crash likelihood increase)
- Failure to Use / Improper Signal conviction (116% future crash likelihood increase)
- A prior crash (113% future crash likelihood increase)
- Reckless Driving violation (104% future crash likelihood increase)
Truck Driver Violations Decreased in Wake of ELD Mandate
The report’s authors also investigated the rate of crashes and violations before the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandated the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) for all interstate commercial drivers. They found that between 2018 (the first full year that the ELD Mandate was in effect) and 2022, the number of truckers who experienced a crash decreased by 7.0 percent. The total number of Hours of Service-related violations also decreased by 16.8 percent once the ELD Mandate took effect.
Compared to female truckers, males were significantly more likely to commit 11 behaviors predictive of future crash involvement. However, the study also found that women drivers are considerably less likely to be inspected than their male counterparts.
“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), females represented 6.7 percent of the truck driver workforce in 2019 (the year of inspection data collection), yet females represented only 2.7 percent of the 2019 driver inspection data being used for this year’s analysis,” the report states.
What to Do After a Truck or 18-Wheeler Accident
When a trucker’s unsafe behavior results in an accident, you might assume that the trucking company will do the right thing and fairly compensate you and your family for all the injuries and losses you’ve incurred due to the crash. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. The fact is, the trucking company and its insurer are only interested in avoiding responsibility and paying accident victims as little as possible.
That’s why it’s so critical to take prompt action to protect your rights and your family’s future:
- Seek immediate medical attention, even if you don’t think you were hurt.
- Gather as much information as possible while you’re at the scene, including the trucking company’s name, the trucker’s DOT number, license, and insurance information for all vehicles involved, and all witnesses’ names and contact information.
- When talking to the investigating officers or anyone else at the scene, this is NOT the time to speculate about fault.
- Notify your insurance company of the crash, even if you’re sure you weren’t at fault.
- Don’t speak with the trucking company’s insurance adjuster, sign anything, or agree to give a recorded statement.
- If you require follow-up care, be sure to attend all medical appointments and comply with your doctor’s advice. Also, keep a record of co-pays and other out-of-pocket costs related to your treatment.
Whatever you do, do not try to negotiate with the trucking company and its insurer on your own. Your best course of action is to hire an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer with a proven history of success against the largest truck and transportation companies in the country.
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