“Safety is Good Business — Crashes Hurt the Bottom Line”
That’s the message to trucking companies from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, as the federal watchdog makes a pocketbook appeal aimed at reducing the risk of semi accidents in Georgia and throughout the country.
Safety is good business because crashes result in injuries, fatalities, considerable financial costs, loss of reputation and goodwill. A poor safety record also hinders a trucking company’s ability to attract and retain safe and experienced commercial drivers.
The U.S. Department of Transportation reports more than 4,100 motorists were killed in accidents with large trucks in 2014. Another 132,000 people were seriously injured. The government estimates a fatal trucking accident costs more than $3.5 million while a crash with injuries costs about $200,000.
Nationwide, the cost of each commercial trucking accident is about $100,000.
Georgia trucking accident attorneys understand other motorists on the road are most at risk. More than 3,100 of the 3,600 killed were occupants of passenger cars or non-occupants, including bicyclists and pedestrians. Companies that invest in robust safety programs, adequate maintenance and continuing education and training for drivers, experience less loss associated with motor-vehicle accidents. Promoting safety by linking it to a company’s bottom line should help companies large and small see these programs as an investment rather than a cost to be contained.
FMCSA reports many of these accidents can be avoided:
-In one year examined, 22 percent of fatal large truck accidents involved at least one vehicle that was speeding.
-More than 5 percent of all fatal trucking crashes are caused by driver fatigue.
-Driver turnover rate has been shown to impact a company’s rate of crash involvement.
-Use of alcohol and controlled substances continue to be involved in too many trucking accidents.
-As recently as 2006, a study found commercial truck driver seat-belt use was less than 60 percent, and lags behind the rate of seat-belt use among passenger-vehicle occupants.
USDOT offers companies a host of safety programs and initiatives:
-CMV Driver Seat Belt Program
-Defensive Driver Program
-Drug and Alcohol Program
-Sharing the Road Safely
-Vehicle Maintenance and Inspection Procedures
The number of large commercial trucks on the road has increased significantly in recent years — from fewer than 8 million in 2001 to nearly 11 million in 2011. The number of vehicle miles traveled has climbed to nearly 300 billion — an increase of almost 50 percent in a decade.
Not all trucking companies are created equally. Some are safety conscious; others are concerned only about their bottom line. When a trucking accident occurs, all of the factors must be taken into consideration. That includes a driver’s record, a truck’s maintenance records, and a company’s accident history. These are complex cases involving state and federal regulations, out-of-state trucking and insurance companies, and commercial truck and trailer manufacturers. Consulting an experienced trucking accident law firm is critical to ensuring your rights are protected in the wake of a serious or fatal accident.