What Are the Most Dangerous Trucking Companies in Florida? 

March 8, 2024 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
What Are the Most Dangerous Trucking Companies in Florida? 

Recent statistics indicate that 72% of all U.S.  products are hauled or delivered by trucks at some point in the distribution chain. This means thousands of semi-tractor trailers travel Florida’s highways and surface roads every day. When these big rigs crash into smaller vehicles like passenger cars, the results are often catastrophic or even fatal.

Federal laws and regulations govern the U.S.  trucking industry to ensure specific standards are met for driver and vehicle safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) enforces trucking regulations and monitors major trucking companies to determine which are the worst trucking companies overall and, importantly, which are the most dangerous trucking companies. 

If you were injured in a truck accident, you may have the right to receive compensation from multiple negligent parties. Contact an experienced Florida truck accident lawyer to learn more.

How to Determine the Most Dangerous Trucking Companies in Florida

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Different organizations, including the NHTSA, collect information about truck crashes in our country. Several factors may be considered when naming the most dangerous truck companies, including:

  • Which truck carrier has the most road accidents?
  • What is the trucking company with the worst CSA score?
  • Which carrier has the lowest OOS rating?
  • Are larger trucking companies more dangerous than smaller carriers?
  • Which are the most dangerous truck companies based on fatal and injury-causing crashes per number of drivers or vehicles?

Let’s break down the reported figures to learn more about Florida’s most dangerous trucking companies.

Which Truck Company Has the Most Fatal Accidents?

According to FMCSA Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System (SAFER Web), in a 24-month time frame, these carriers reported the most fatal crashes:

  • FedEx (combined numbers for FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight): 109 fatal accidents
  • UPS: 74 fatal crashes
  • FedEx Ground only: 72 fatal wrecks
  • J.B. Hunt Transport: 51 fatal crashes

Of course, these numbers only make sense when you consider the number of drivers and vehicles on the road from each carrier. Since FedEx operates 101,000 vehicles, we can expect more serious accidents than a company such as J.B. Hunt Transport, which only owns 22,500 trucks.

What Is the Trucking Company With the Worst CSA Score?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established a way to measure interstate commercial carriers using a CSA, or Compliance, Safety, and Accountability score. These three metrics determine the safest trucking companies as opposed to the worst trucking companies. 

The FMCSA website allows users to search the site by entering the trucking company’s business name or its Department of Transportation (DOT) number to see each carrier’s number of vehicles, number of drivers, the most recent number of accidents, the number of investigations, and more about the company’s crash history. 

The CSA score looks at trucking company safety performance using various metrics, including accident frequency, out-of-service (OOS) rates, how many cases required enforcement measures, and the number of safety violations.

According to the CSA score, the most dangerous trucking company in Florida is UPS, with a reported 2,887 total crashes in a 24-month period.

How OOS Ratings are Assigned to Trucking Companies in Florida

Vehicle inspections leading to failure and subsequent placement of the truck out of service.

First of all, what is an OOS rating? Out-of-service (OOS) ratings relate to carriers’ safety performance. These rates calculate a percentage of truck inspections that resulted in the vehicle’s failure, which caused the truck to be placed out of service. 

For example, if a company’s OOS truck inspection rate is 30%, that means, on average, three out of every ten trucks failed inspection and were removed from service.

The most recent national averages for OOS rates are:

  • 21.2% related to truck inspections
  • 5.8% related to driver inspections
  • 1.1% related to hazmat inspections

Which Trucking Companies Have the Highest (Worst) Out Of Service Rates?

Among American commercial carriers, CRST Expedited suffered the highest OOS rate for vehicle inspections. With nearly one out of five CRST vehicles inspected being removed from service, this carrier tops the list of worst OOS rates. 

After CRST, these companies round out the list of the top five trucking companies reporting the highest (worst) OOS vehicle inspection ratings:

  • J.B. Hunt Transport: 18.7%
  • YRC Inc: 18.7%
  • Swift Transportation: 16.3%
  • FedEx Ground: 16.3%

Which Trucking Companies Have the Lowest (Best)  Out of Service Rates?

One of the country’s largest commercial carriers, FedEx Express, reports the lowest OOS rate for vehicle inspections at 6.4%.

Following FedEx Express, here are the next four trucking companies with the lowest (best) OOS rates:

  • UPS: 10.5%
  • FedEx Freight: 12.3%
  • Schneider National Carriers: 14.6%
  • Averitt Express: 14.7%

Are Larger Trucking Businesses or Smaller Carriers the Safest Trucking Companies?

You may be surprised to learn that with the exception of only a few large trucking companies, most of our country’s safest trucking companies are the largest carriers. Many of the biggest U.S.  trucking companies report fewer than one accident for every million miles driven. 

One of the reasons the most successful and profitable companies have better safety records is that they have the resources to prioritize driver and truck safety. Many carriers regularly reward and promote their drivers who maintain exemplary driving safety records. 

On the other hand, because some small trucking companies have such bad driving records, the U.S.  DOT monitors them more closely. The majority of these businesses employ fewer than five drivers each and probably devote most of their resources to simply keeping the drivers and trucks on the road rather than prioritizing driver training and truck maintenance. 

The top ten nationwide trucking companies provide trucks for their drivers and have more control over regular maintenance. These companies have a vested interest in keeping their trucks in good working order, their drivers on the road and safe, and minimizing accidents to keep insurance premiums down and profits high. 

However, a few of our country’s biggest carriers have been known to violate safety rules and push their drivers to violate driving hour restrictions and equipment safety guidelines.

Some are suspected of encouraging drivers to falsify their driver logbooks, and drivers have reported abuse and exploitation by these carriers. These carriers’ fatality rates have risen over the past decade while the industry-wide accident rate has dropped. 

What Are the 5 Most Dangerous Trucking Companies?

Based on the number of fatal accidents, crashes that caused injuries, and the number of company drivers and vehicles for each commercial carrier, here are the most dangerous trucking companies in America:

  1. FedEx total numbers combine FedEx Ground (which employs 124,000 drivers and maintains 101,000 vehicles) with FedEx Freight (employing an additional 21,000 drivers). Over a recent two-year period, FedEx reported 109 fatal crashes and 1,161 injury-causing accidents
  2. UPS employs 127,000 drivers using 134,000 vehicles. This carrier reported 74 fatal crashes and 1,082 injury-causing crashes
  3. JB Hunt Transportation employs 25,700 drivers and maintains 22,500 vehicles. This company reported 50 fatal wrecks and 543 injury crashes in the same two-year period
  4. Swift Transportation, Inc. has 15,000 drivers controlling 16,000 vehicles and reported 28 fatal crashes and 289 injury crashes
  5. Schneider National Carriers has 12,500 drivers and 10,600 vehicles. It reported 20 fatal collisions and 233 injury crashes

Florida Truck Accidents Statistics

In a recent year, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) reported the number of U.S.  truck drivers rose to almost 3.5 million, a 3.7% increase from the previous year. Every year, vehicle makers, including truck manufacturers, release new safety features and advanced technology in an effort to prevent accidents, personal injuries, and deaths. 

However, despite these advances, devastating commercial tractor-trailer accidents occur annually across Florida’s highways and interstates. Before you request payment for the financial losses you incurred in a Florida truck accident, a skilled personal injury lawyer should investigate and evaluate your claim. 

Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Florida

An overturned truck transporting a container on a road beneath a bridge at an intersection.

Most trucking accidents in Florida are caused by driver negligence. However, some crashes can be attributable to road conditions or vehicle malfunction. A dedicated truck collision attorney can determine who or what caused your crash and whether you can recover compensation for your financial losses.

Some of the most common truck accident causes include:

  • Distracted driving - If a truck driver is using their cell phone, eating, or otherwise not paying attention to their driving, they can cause a severe accident in a matter of seconds.
  • Driving while intoxicated - In most states, 0.08% blood alcohol content (BAC) is the legal limit for being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). However, most states impose more strict requirements on commercial drivers. Many states consider a truck driver impaired if their BAC is 0.04% or greater. 
  • Fatigued driving - Some trucking companies encourage or require drivers to drive more hours than regulations allow. As a result, these drivers do not receive the sleep they require. Studies show that a tired driver’s reactions and abilities are similar to someone who has consumed alcohol before driving. 
  • Vehicle malfunctions - Serious accidents can occur when a truck’s tire blows out or its brakes fail. Due to the size and weight of most tractor-trailers, crashes with smaller vehicles can be catastrophic. In these cases, the trucking company, or the truck maker or component part’s manufacturer may be held responsible for resulting injuries.
  • Speeding - Speeding is a factor in about 26% of all fatal accidents, and when vehicles weighing many tons travel at high speeds, they don’t stop quickly.
  • Hazardous road conditions - If a state highway or federal interstate is poorly maintained, dangerous road conditions can lead to serious truck accidents. In these cases, an accident victim may have the right to file a claim against the government agency responsible for maintaining the road. 

As you can see, truck accidents are far more complicated than typical two-car collisions. If you were injured in a truck wreck, contact a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer near you to learn more about your right to compensation.

Types of Truck Accidents That Cause the Most Fatalities and Injuries 

An accident victim’s injury potential can vary depending on which part of a vehicle is involved in a collision with a commercial truck.

According to NHTSA’s Table 46, records show the differences when a passenger vehicle is struck in four locations:

  • Front-impact accidents resulted in 2456 deaths and 47,941 injuries in one year
  • Left-side (driver’s side) impacts caused 449 deaths and 14,075 injuries in the same timeframe
  • Right-side impact collisions lead to 248 fatalities and 8,818 injured victims
  • Rear impact collisions resulted in 1,019 fatalities and 28,100 injuries

Overall, regardless of where the impact occurs, if you are in a passenger vehicle and collide with an 80,000-pound, fully-loaded 18-wheeler, you will likely be injured far worse than the truck driver. 

Common Truck Accident Injuries 

Truck cabin damaged in a collision.

Injuries sustained in trucking accidents are very similar to those resulting from typical car crashes. However, due to the size and weight of semi-trucks, most victims suffer more severe and complicated issues after a truck collision. 

Common injuries reported after a truck crash include:

  • Head and traumatic brain injuries. When a commercial truck impacts a car, there’s an increased chance of brain and head injury. Many times, vehicle occupants hit their heads on the inside of the car, or they are thrown from the vehicle and strike the ground or another vehicle. In truck crashes, common head injuries include skull fractures, cuts, and brain damage. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can cause lifelong implications.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Since a loaded truck can exert tremendous force on another vehicle and the people inside, serious spinal cord injuries can result from trucking accidents, especially those that cause a rollover.
  • Neck injuries: Occupants in a passenger car may experience whiplash, herniated discs, bulging discs, and nerve damage after a truck accident.
  • Broken bones: Just before a crash, car occupants may brace themselves for impact or be thrown around the vehicle. Accident victims commonly suffer broken bones in truck collisions, and depending on how serious the break is, it could require surgery and extensive physical therapy to heal properly.
  • Lacerations, contusions (bruises), and other soft tissue injuries: An accident victim’s body usually takes a beating in a truck accident. It’s common to see significant bruising, cuts, torn ligaments, strained muscles, and even internal organ damage.

If you suffered any of these injuries or other serious medical conditions after a trucking accident, seek medical treatment immediately. 

Right after a crash, some people don't believe they are injured because adrenaline is masking the pain. Always have a medical professional evaluate you after any vehicle collision to ensure you are not suffering from a serious condition that hasn’t appeared yet.

Additionally, if you don’t receive prompt medical attention after a truck accident, you may limit your ability to recoup compensation through insurance coverage. If you can provide medical records showing treatment for your injuries after an accident, you improve your chances of recovering all of your injury-related losses.

What Damages Can I Request After a Truck Accident?

When a truck driver injures you in a collision, you may have the legal right to request compensation from the driver, their employer (the trucking company), and possibly other third parties responsible for your injuries. Personal injury laws allow injured people to receive both economic and non-economic damages.

Examples of economic damages include all documentable, out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills, lost income, and personal property repair or replacement. 

Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate because they don’t have a receipt or record to prove their worth. Instead, a skilled personal injury attorney can help you determine a fair amount of non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or loss of life enjoyment.

If the truck driver or their company was extremely negligent or showed no regard for your safety or the safety of others when the accident occurred, your lawyer may be able to request punitive damages from the court to punish the responsible party for their egregious actions.

Naming the Most Dangerous Trucking Companies in Florida is Complicated

Examining accident rates is one way to determine if a trucking company is dangerous. Commercial truck accidents are often catastrophic and cause severe injury or death for those involved. State and federal regulators track truck accidents and look for patterns that could reveal unsafe practices by particular companies.

In some cases, an experienced truck collision lawyer can review records from specific companies to find evidence of negligence or other wrongdoing that may have caused an accident. This proof can help support an insurance claim or civil lawsuit if needed. 

Beyond the overall rate of accidents within a specific timeframe, other indicators may help identify the most dangerous trucking companies in Florida. For example, discovering records that show a driver was working long hours without rest could help build a case against the trucking company for forcing its employees to violate federal regulations. 

Furthermore, look beyond the total number of accidents reported. You need to determine how often driver error or negligence caused the company’s accidents as opposed to mechanical issues, corporate policies, or other drivers.

Truck accidents are complicated situations that require the knowledge and guidance of a skilled personal injury lawyer. Reach out to a truck collision attorney near you to fully understand your rights. 

When You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer to Challenge the Most Dangerous Trucking Companies in Florida, Trust Dolman Law Group

Matthew Dolman, Attorney for Personal injury in Clearwater, FL
Matthew Dolman, Florida Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one were involved in an accident with one of the dangerous trucking companies in Florida, you don’t need to face the future alone. Reach out to the compassionate legal team truck accident lawyer at Dolman Law Group for a free consultation today. 

With no obligation and no upfront costs, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain when you meet with our dedicated Florida personal injury lawyers. With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, at (727) 451-6900, or you can write to us using our online contact page.

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Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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