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Trucking company from fatal accident had previous violations

In a recent truck accident that claimed the lives of six other people, it was learned the trucking company the truck driver works for had racked up 17 violations over the past two years. One of these violations, following another vehicle too closely, was also what allegedly caused this most recent tragic accident.

In this truck accident, it is believed the 47-year-old truck driver, who worked for Highway Star Inc., was following a family's SUV too closely. A husband, wife, family friend, two foster children and an 18-year-old whose relationship to the family is not yet known were all killed in the accident. Two other foster children also suffered from serious injuries and were transported to the hospital.

In looking just at the trucking company, over the past two years, the company has been issued a number of violations for dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding, following too closely and improper lane change.

However, despite this dangerous track record, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration still gave the company an overall satisfactory rating on its past two year performance. One could imagine this is largely due to the fact that the company did stay right below or right above the national average when it came to inspections.

Over the two year period, which ended on March 3, there were 59 inspections of Highway Star Inc. trucks. This resulted in 12 vehicles being taken off of the road. However, even with these issues, with the truck out of service rate being at 20.3 percent, it managed to stay below the national 20.72 percent average.

In terms of drivers being taken off of the roads, seven out of 124 driver inspections resulted in the drivers no longer being allowed to drive. But still, this is just 5.6 percent, which is only slightly above the national average of 5.51 percent.

What this means for the average Illinois driver who is hurt in a trucking-related accident, is that even if the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration deems a company as satisfactory, there could still be safety concerns with the company's rigs or drivers. In these cases, it is especially important to reach out to an attorney with experience handling truck accident cases.

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

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