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Trucking Accident Kills Six People After Safety Violations, Pt. 2

Federal authorities at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration play an important role on behalf of motorists in Texas and around the nation. As the federal agency in charge of commercial vehicles, its responsibilities involve conducting safety inspections at truck companies and reporting the results to individual states.

It is usually up to state authorities to follow up on these reports - but truck companies also have a responsibility to take note of problems and do everything they can to correct them.

In one recent fatal trucking accident, the company apparently failed to improve on a consistent history of these violations. Although it is impossible to say based on the limited information available at this point, one of these patterns of safety problems may have played a role in the crash.

Since 2011, the company responsible for this truck racked up issues in 12 out of 59 safety checks. This brought the company below the national average for safety problems and earned it a warning from the FMCSA. The agency told states to pay careful attention to its vehicles.

More relevant to this crash that seems to have involved driver error, the company also had 17 traffic violations. These violations involved common trucking accident causes like speeding, unsafe lane changes and following other vehicles too closely. All of these risky behaviors could have played a role in last week's fatal crash.

It is unfortunate that a trucking company could have so much access to information about problems in its fleet - and ignore those warnings until a driver causes a tragic wreck.

Source: The Detroit News, "Michigan firm in crash had 17 tickets since '11," Brett Barrouquere and Steve Karnowski, Mar. 5, 2013 

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