Averitt Express, Inc. (“Averitt”) is a big name in the trucking industry. Based out of Cookeville, Tennessee, this trucking company has 6,677 drivers and 20,490 trucks on the road. In 2018, its drivers clocked a staggering 385,121,318 miles on the nations’ highways, freeways, and turnpikes.
Averitt isn’t the biggest transportation company in the United States — but it has a sizable share of the market. It also accounts for a number of serious and fatal accidents each year. In the 24 months prior to December 1, 2019, Averitt trucks were involved in a total of 413 crashes, which led to 9 deaths, 130 injuries, and 274 vehicles towed.
Averitt Company Snapshot: What Types of Trucks Are on the Road for Averitt?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a government agency that is tasked with reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. Its role, through the U.S. Department of Transportation, is to regulate the trucking industry in the United States.
As part of its mission, the FMCSA collects information on trucking companies. The data that it collects is stored in a program known as SAFER, which is made available to the public via an online portal. Anyone with access to a computer and the internet can research trucking companies to get a better idea of their safety records and the way that they operate.
Averitt has a total of 20,490 trucks on the road in the United States, all of which are authorized for hire on the country’s interstate roadways. The trucks can carry general freight, intermodal containers, and commodities (dry bulk).
Avertitt owns three types of vehicles: straight trucks, truck tractors, and trailers. The breakdown of its fleet is as follows:
- Straight trucks: 44
- Truck tractors: 5,002
- Trailers: 15,444
How Safe is Averitt Express?
The FMCSA goes beyond merely collecting the data about how much vehicles a trucking company owns or how many miles its drivers travel in a year. The agency also gathers statistics about any violations that these companies may incur each year, both for individual drivers and for the vehicles themselves. These reports (available through SAFER) also include data about crashes.
In a 2 year period of time ending on October 25, 2019, Averitt drivers received 524 violations for unsafe driving issues. None of these citations were for acute or critical violations. Even so, any of these violations could lead to an accident — such as speeding 15 or more miles over the speed limit, failure to yield right of way, texting while driving, and following too close.
During that same 24 month time frame, FMCSA inspectors conducted 4,365 inspections of Averitt drivers. They found 3 drug and alcohol violations, 25 driver fitness violations and 93 hours of service compliance violations. As with unsafe driving violations, none of these citations were classified as acute or critical — but that does not mean that these violations were not serious.
For example, there were 3 drug and alcohol violations during this period. One involved a driver having possession of alcohol while on duty or operating a truck, while another was for a driver possessing an intoxicating beverage while on duty or driving. The third violation was for operating a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating beverage. Any operation of a big rig while under the influence could lead to an accident.
The second type of violation involve driver fitness issues. These generally relate to violating the rules and regulations governing individuals with commercial drivers’ licenses (CDL). For Averitt, these violations include citations that range from operating a truck without a valid CDL to having an expired medical certificate to not being physically qualified to drive.
The FMCSA also regulates how many hours a driver can be behind the wheel before they must take a break, as well as the length of those breaks. These rules — known as hours of service regulations — are critical to protect everyone on the road from the impact of drowsy driving. This is especially important as many trucking companies put pressure on their drivers to meet unrealistic goals, creating incentives for drivers to stay on the road long after they should have taken a break.
Averitt drivers committed 93 hours of service (HOS) violations in 2 years. Many of these violations related to failing to maintain the necessary paperwork — but it is important to remember that this is often done in an effort to skirt the regulations. In several cases, Averitt drivers were cited for driving over the 14, 11, or 8 hour limit in a given period of time.
In the same time frame, FMCSA conducted 2,318 vehicle inspections, finding 652 vehicle maintenance violations. These citations were issued for problems such as a driver failing to conduct a pre-trip inspection, wheel/rim cracked or broken, inadequate brakes for safe stopping, and damaged or discolored windshield. Many — if not all — of these violations could lead directly to an accident.
Finally, in the 24 months prior to December 1, 2019, Averitt trucks were involved in 412 accidents. In 2018, its trucks drove 385,121,318 miles. This means that its drivers or trucks were in an accident for roughly every 467,380 vehicle mile traveled.
Possible graphic (24 month period ending 10/25/2019):
- 524 unsafe driving violations
- 3 drug and alcohol violations
- 93 hours of service violations
- 652 vehicle maintenance violations
Crash stats (data for 24 month period ending 12/1/2019):
- 412 accidents
- 9 fatalities
- 130 injuries
- 274 vehicles towed away
Averitt Truck Accident Victims: Help Is Here
Anytime that a truck is in a collision with a passenger vehicle, the possibility for serious or even fatal injuries is high. When trucking companies skimp on safety measures or take shortcuts on training their drivers, the potential for these types of accidents skyrockets. Companies like Averitt must be held accountable if their drivers cause accidents that injure innocent victims.
At Solnick & Associates, we believe in working with our clients to help them achieve the best possible outcome. We are zealous advocates, aggressively pursuing justice so that our clients can get their lives back on track with a fair settlement or award. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a Philadelphia truck accident attorney, call us today at 215-481-9979 or contact us online anytime.