Trucking company in fatal crash has history of traffic violations

Trucking companies are the lifeblood of shipping in the contiguous United States. It ultimately doesn’t matter where a particular company is located, because its drivers may travel across the entire country.

Thousands of truckers – both safe and dangerous – drive through the Chicago area each week from all over the U.S. As such, a fatal truck accident that occurs on any U.S. road or highway could just as easily have happened in Illinois. That’s why we all have a stake in making sure that negligent truckers and the companies they work for are taken out of service before they cause a fatal crash.

Sadly, a truck accident in Kentucky recently claimed the lives of six people and caused serious injuries to two others. The victims were a Wisconsin family on their way home from a trip to Florida. According to the state police, the trucker was following too closely behind their SUV prior to the crash. Potential criminal charges against the driver are pending.

What is particularly infuriating about this crash is that the warning signs which could have prevented it were not heeded. The trucker is employed by a Michigan company with 35 vehicles and an undisclosed number of employees.

Over the last two years alone, the company has accumulated 17 traffic violations for offenses such as following too closely, failing to wear a seatbelt and speeding. During that same period, the company’s vehicles were inspected 59 times; 12 of which resulted in vehicles being removed from service.

We must wonder: at what point is a trucking company’s safety record deemed bad enough to warrant the permanent removal of its drivers from the road? It should not take a fatal accident to finally bring attention to a trucking company’s negligence.

Source: Detroit News, “Michigan firm in crash had 17 tickets since ’11,” Brett Barrouquere and Steve Karnowski, Mar. 5, 2013