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Legal Blog

Is Truck Driver Turnover a Safety Threat on the Roads?

In order to move 9.2 billion tons of freight each year, the trucking industry must be able to find, recruit, and retain competent and experienced truckers. However, truck driver turnover (also called churning) continues to be a major issue in the trucking industry due to high-stress working conditions, poor job satisfaction, and inadequate compensation. High turnover among commercial truck drivers has led some trucking companies to hire underqualified drivers, which can undermine the safety of their employees and everyone else on the road.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a commercial trucking accident, you may be uncertain about what to do next. The Houston truck accident lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can help you understand your options, conduct a comprehensive accident investigation, and fight to obtain compensation for your injuries. Call us today at (281) 283-8500 to schedule a free consultation.

Truck Driver Turnover and Accidents

According to the American Trucking Association, the annual turnover rate for long-haul truckers is 100 percent and around 95 percent for smaller fleets. The turnover problem in the trucking industry is two-fold – truck drivers frequently switch jobs (this is known as “job hopping”), or they leave the profession altogether. High truck driver turnover rates can be a safety threat on the roads, increasing the likelihood of accidents and number of unskilled truckers. Several studies have established a link between commercial truck driver turnover and crash rates.

A 2003 report conducted by the Department of Transportation found that truck drivers who averaged three or more job changes within a year were twice as likely to be involved in multiple crashes than drivers with a lower job change rate. Companies with higher driver turnover had greater crash rates than carriers with a lower number of drivers switching from job to job. Drivers who frequently engage in job-hopping have higher crash rates because they are adjusting to new vehicles or cargo types, are not acclimated to their new environment, and/or have not learned their new routes.

Data firm Vigillo found in a recent analysis that fleets with the highest turnover rates generally have poorer Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) scores than fleets with lower turnover. CSA is a compliance and enforcement program overseen by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates commercial trucking. FMCSA maintains safety data for trucking companies and their drivers in an online system known as the Safety Measurement System. The metrics are based on factors such as unsafe driving, histories of crash involvement, hours-of-service compliance, vehicle maintenance, substance abuse, and driver fitness.

Work with an Experienced Houston Truck Accident Lawyer

At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we have decades of experience handling several types of trucking accident cases. Our team of skilled Houston truck accident lawyers have the resources, knowledge, and skills to build the strongest case possible while you focus on recovery.

Contact us today at (281) 283-8500 for a free, no-risk consultation.