National Safety Council: Accidents involving commercial truck drivers are increasing annually

WAFF 48's D'Quan Lee reporting
Published: Jul. 5, 2023 at 7:46 PM CDT

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The latest data available from the National Safety Council shows a troubling trend for commercial truck drivers: The number of accidents involving large trucks are increasing and have been for nearly 14 years.

The increased number of accidents in the trucking industry is resulting in higher insurances for every company big or small. Couple that with high turnover rates and it creates a tough situation for hiring managers.

DQuandre Johnson, a fleet manager, says it’s getting harder and harder to find drivers with spotless records.

“Right now, a driver that was with us for about three years, he had an accident and now it’s harder for us to actually employ him because it raises our insurances rates,” he said. “Typically, in two or three years, the accident will fall off and now we can actually rehire that driver.”

Attorney Hunter Garnett says by-and-large, commercial trucks are safe drivers, but he says there are some who prioritize cash over safety.

“That small percentage of truckers who are motivated by money and getting freight as quickly as possible to their destination, they cause the majority of the accidents,” Garnett said.

Johnson says nowadays, fleet managers have a variety of tools at their disposable to make sure they are hiring the best drivers they can. That can include dual cameras to allow them to make sure their drivers are being safe.

“With our electronic logging device, when a driver hits the break hard, makes a sharp turn, it actually sends a notification to our insurance company and also to the fleet manager. And that fleet manager in turn will give that driver a call just to check. They’ll also check the cameras to ensure they’re not texting and driving.”

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