An analysis of government data conducted by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) reveals that more than 28,000 motor carrier companies, representing upwards of 200,000 trucks, currently operate on American roads and interstates despite being in violation of federal safety laws. The presence of so many non-complying big trucks on our roads unfairly places millions of people, including truck drivers, at risk for serious personal injury and death on a daily basis.
Defective brakes, bad tires, loads dangerously exceeding legal weight limits, unqualified drivers, and drivers with drug or alcohol addictions are some of the most common violations trucking companies, whether they’re multi-carrier companies or independently owned and operated trucks, are cited for, according to the AAJ analysis.
Government records show that more than 4,000 people die every year in collisions with trucks and over 80,000 more are seriously injured. According to the AAJ report, “more people die in collisions with trucks than in collisions with planes, trains, ships and interstate buses combined.”
“Truck accidents occur for a variety of reasons, but many are preventable, and often are a direct result of trucking companies violating safety standards to cut corners and maximize profits,” the AAJ report says.
AAJ analyzed data pulled from the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS), maintained by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). According to the AAJ, it analyzed over a million lines of data “in an effort to pinpoint just how many unsafe trucks might be on the road.”
The AAJ says that through safety inspections, regulators have found at least one in five trucks on the road to be unsafe.
“Clearly, there is a need for the public to know the true state of truck safety. Only through highlighting the dangers of unsafe trucks can we ensure that efforts to improve safety are maintained. If not, thousands more innocent people will die every year,” the AAJ report concludes.
Read the AAJ Commercial Truck Safety Report.