Which Trucking Company Has the Most Accidents?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 543,061 motor carriers operating both intrastate and interstate in Dec. 2017. While some of these trucking companies are small operations with only a handful of trucks working in a limited area, others employ hundreds of thousands of drivers to transport goods all over the country.
Some trucking companies place a greater emphasis on safety than others. Motor carriers that have a high number of crashes may be less likely to engage critically in important safety practices, like driver training, vehicle maintenance, and proper background checks.
So which trucking company has the most accidents? We’ll look at the motor carrier with the most accidents in the last 24 months, as well as four more with a higher total of accidents compared to other companies.
Top 5 Trucking Companies With the Highest Number of Accidents
The FMCSA tracks motor carrier safety data through the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System. In addition to tracking and compiling crash data, SAFER also details inspection reports, out-of- service (OOS) orders and OOS percentages. Both the total number of crashes and OOS rates can give us a detailed look at how each company approaches safety.
Before we take a closer look at the five trucking companies with the highest number of accidents, let’s go over a few terms that will be helpful when reviewing the following data:
- Out-of-service (OOS) status – A vehicle that has been placed out-of-service based on an inspection.
- Power unit – Trucks, tractors, hazardous material tank trucks, motor coaches, school buses, mini-buses/vans, and limousines owned or leased by a motor carrier.
- Cargo carried – The type of cargo and freight transported by a carrier or shipper.
United Parcel Service (UPS)
Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, United Parcel Service (UPS) delivers packages and goods to all 50 states and Puerto Rico and causes more accidents than any other trucking company in the United States.
With more than 128,300 drivers and 112,386 power units, UPS is a powerful and constant presence on our roadways. According to SAFER, UPS deals with a wide range of cargo carried, including construction materials, fresh produce, chemicals, paper products, and general freight.
In the 24 months prior to May 4, 2023, UPS had:
- 2,901 total accidents
- 1,814 accidents requiring a tow
- 1,1018 injury-causing accidents
- 69 fatal accidents
During that same period of time, UPS power units were inspected 12,354 times, resulting in 1,392 OOS orders.
As one of the largest freight and delivery services in the U.S., more than 124,917 drivers make deliveries with the company’s 102,602 power units. Unlike other carriers, FedEx’s scope of services is much narrower. According to the FMCSA SAFER system, FedEx’s cargo carried is only general freight, which in this case typically refers to packages.
In the 24 months prior to May 4, 2023, FedEx had:
- 2,817 total accidents
- 1,818 accidents requiring a tow
- 913 injury-causing accidents
- 86 fatal accidents
Over the same time period, FedEx’s power units were inspected 12,582 times. This resulted in 2,220 OOS orders.
Trucking and transportation company Swift Transportation is based in Phoenix, AZ, but operates interstate all over the U.S. It employs 15,000 drivers and has a total power unit inventory of 15,907. Cargo carried for Swift Transportation includes food products like meat and fresh produce, logs, motor vehicles, passengers, and more.
In the 24 months prior to May 4, 2023, Swift Transportation had:
- 1,016 total accidents
- 693 accidents requiring a tow
- 290 injury-causing accidents
- 33 fatal accidents
During those 24 months, Swift Transportation vehicles were subject to 12,579 inspections and 2,147 OOS orders.
As one of the five largest motor carriers in the United States and with a history stretching back nearly seven decades, Werner Enterprises has an extensive nationwide reach. With 10,533 drivers and 9,519 power units, the company transports a wide range of freight, including dry bulk commodities, building materials, chemicals, and more.
In the 24 months prior to May 4, 2023, Werner Enterprises had:
- 893 total accidents
- 609 accidents requiring a tow
- 261 injury-causing accidents
- 23 fatal accidents
A total of 6,391 power units for Werner Enterprises were inspected during this same period of time. This resulted in 1,080 OOS orders.
With 5,166 drivers for 5,129 power units, Averitt Express is smaller than many of the other trucking companies that top the list of carriers with the most accidents. Operating interstate, Averitt Express is authorized to carry dry bulk commodities, intermodal containers, and general freight.
In the 24 months prior to May 4, 2023, Averitt Express had:
- 360 total accidents
- 237 accidents requiring a tow
- 114 injury-causing accidents
- 9 fatal accidents
Of the five motor carriers with the most number of accidents, Averitt’s power units underwent the fewest inspections. Of the 2,038 vehicle inspections, 327 resulted in OOS orders.
The Number of Truck Accidents in the United States
In 2020, there were 415,000 truck accidents reported to police nationwide. Of these:
- 101,000 caused at least one injury
- 4,444 caused at least one death
Semi-truck crashes happen for a variety of reasons, including driver error and trucking company negligence. When a trucking company fails to properly train or screen its drivers, creates unreasonable delivery schedules, or encourages drivers to engage in risky or illegal practices, it is responsible for any and all accidents that result.
Taking Control After a Truck Accident
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you know just how helpless the experience can leave you feeling.
The important thing to remember is that you are not alone.
At Trucking Injury Law Group, our Super Team of attorneys haspooled our years of experience, knowledge, expertise, and multi-state resources to provide the best possible representation to truck accident victims. It is our goal to make sure that every client we work with feels empowered to make the best possible decisions for themselves, and to feel confident in our ability to help them stand up to the big insurance companies.
If you need compensation for your accident injuries, medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more—we’re the law firm you need. Contact a Portland truck accident attorney from our firm today to learn how we can help.