Which Trucking Company Has the Worst Safety Record?


There are many different metrics by which you can evaluate a trucking companies’ safety record given their differing sizes and the number of accidents that they’re involved in. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that in 2019, 4,119 people died on the roads in large truck accidents, with 67 percent of fatalities being occupants and passengers of cars. Learning about the safety records of some of the major trucking companies can help to keep you safe on the road and may help you obtain the compensation you’re entitled to after an accident.

How Safe Are Major Trucking Companies?

Want to get a sense of how safe (or unsafe) major trucking companies are? A March 2019 report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides critical stats for major carriers in the United States. The report included data spanning from 2007-2017.

The FMCSA offers a company snapshots feature that allows users to look up the last 24 months of crash and safety statistics for individual carriers, updated on a rolling basis. It includes information about out-of-service (OOS) violations, safety violations that required a vehicle to be pulled from service, along driver inspections. It also included information about the number of collisions, the injuries that resulted from them, along with fatalities. The latest information for each carrier is from March 27, 2021.

As of February 26, 2021, the national averages for failure rates are as follows:

  • 71% for vehicles
  • 22% for drivers
  • 44% for Hazmat

To give an idea of the disparity between larger and smaller companies, it helps to take a look at one large one and a smaller one. In this case, we’ll take a look at UPS and YRC Freight.


United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) is based in Atlanta, GA, and ships within the US and Canada. While UPS is larger than most carriers, and in absolute terms, its numbers tend to be higher than its competitors, in many categories it comes in far under the national average.

The company had 10,081 vehicle inspections, 14,745 driver inspections, and 320 Hazmat inspections. It received a total of 877, 126, and 2 OOS violations for each category, respectively, totaling 8.7%, 0.9%, and 0.6%. The company also had 2,670 crashes, with 1,653 towing incidents, 956 injuries, and 61 fatalities.

YRC Freight

YRC Freight is based in Overland Park, KS, and ships within the US and Canada. While the company is smaller than UPS, many of its numbers as a proportion are higher than UPS, but still under the national average.

The company had 3,672 vehicle inspections, 5,177 driver inspections, and 1,341 Hazmat inspections. It received a total of 668, 69, and 100 OOS violations for each category, respectively, totaling 18.2%, 1.3%, and 7.5%. The company also had 528 crashes, with 366 towing incidents, 145 injuries, and 17 fatalities.

What Should I Do if I’ve Been Involved in a Trucking Accident?

If you’ve been involved in an accident with a truck, then it’s important to secure legal representation as soon as possible. Likewise, if your loved one was involved in an accident and died during it, then you will want to see if you can obtain compensation on their behalf to pay for the expenses of their loss of life. Working with truck accident lawyers in South Carolina can give you the expertise and resources you need to aid your recovery and that of your family and loved ones from the accident.

Trucking accidents have varying safety records, but one thing is certain: if you or your loved one are involved in an accident with one, it will be a serious matter. Getting the help you need quickly after an accident is vital to rebuilding your life, both physically and financially.


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