J.B. Hunt, based in Lowell, Arkansas, is one of the largest trucking companies in the United States. The company was formed in 1961 and now boasts more than 18,000 vehicles and over 20,000 drivers on the road.
Ranked by revenue in 2019, J.B. Hunt was fourth overall among U.S. for-hire trucking companies, providing service to the continental United States as well as Canada and Mexico. The most recent numbers published through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) show that Estes Express Lines vehicles collectively traveled approximately 1,280,000,000 miles in 2018.
In the 24-month period prior to February 28, 2020, J.B. Hunt vehicles were involved in 1,528 crashes. Out of those, 962 caused enough damage that one or more vehicles had to be towed away. People were injured in 527 of the accidents and 39 resulted in fatalities.
J.B. Hunt Company Snapshot: What Types Of Trucks Are On The Road For J.B. Hunt?
J.B. Hunt is authorized to conduct interstate business as a for-hire shipping and logistics company, U.S. mail carrier, and intermodal equipment provider (equipment for transporting shipping containers). Their vehicles are authorized to carry a wide variety of cargo including metals, logs and lumber, building materials, intermodal containers, livestock, meat, U.S. mail, chemicals, grain and feed, refrigerated foods, and more.
The latest data from the FMCSA shows that the company’s fleet is made up of 110,796 trailers, 15,786 truck tractors, and 583 straight trucks.
How Safe Is J.B. Hunt?
It’s difficult to say whether any particular trucking company is “safe” or not. All we can do is take a look at the statistics gathered by the FMCSA, which oversees the trucking industry, and compare the data with other carriers to see how they stack up. The three main bits of data that the FMCSA gathers are crash reports, inspection records, and violation reports.
For the two-year period prior to February 28, 2020, J.B. Hunt was cited 3,187 times for unsafe driving violations. The majority of violations are for speeding. Violating lane restrictions and failing to obey a traffic control device came in close behind. Others include following too close, using a cellular phone while driving, inattentive driving, and making improper lane changes. Any of these could result in serious accidents on the highways.
During the same time period, J.B. Hunt drivers went through 22,108 inspections and were cited for 997 hours of service compliance violations. Many violations have to do with records that drivers are required to keep, but there were also several citations for driving beyond the allowed time limits, filing false driving time records, and non-functional recording devices that are supposed to make sure drivers’ work time is monitored.
There were 18 drug and alcohol-related violations including being in possession of drugs, driving under the influence of an intoxicating beverage, and drivers in possession of an intoxicating beverage while on duty.
The company also received 155 citations for driver fitness violations. These include drivers not physically qualified to drive their vehicle, driving a commercial vehicle without a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and driving with a suspended CDL, among others.
J.B. Hunt vehicles were inspected 12,300 times and 6,871 violations were found. Violations included inoperable lights, flat or leaking tires, poor maintenance of parts, pressure loss in the brake system, exposed tire ply or belt material, more than 20% of the brakes on the vehicle in a non-functional state, leaking brake system connections, and more.
If we use the total miles traveled in 2018 and double it so that it represents a two year period and divide by the 1,528 crashed reported over the last two years, we get an average of one accident for about every 1,675,392 miles that their vehicles travel.
Even though that’s a lot of miles to travel without any accidents, you have to consider how many miles are traveled by such a large fleet of trucks in a short period of time. If we take an average based on time, with 1528 truck crashes reported over two years, there is a truck accident involving a J.B. Hunt vehicle approximately once every 11.5 hours.
If You Are In An Accident With A J.B. Hunt Truck
Commercial vehicles like J.B. Hunt trucks can cause a tremendous amount of damage when they are involved in an accident, especially when they are traveling at high speeds on the highway and collide with light vehicles like common passenger cars. If you are involved in an accident with one of these vehicles, you will undoubtedly suffer greater damage than they will.
An accident involving a commercial truck or tractor-trailer is not the same as an accident between two drivers in privately owned vehicles. There are many laws and regulations that truck drivers and trucking companies must follow. That’s why a personal injury or wrongful death claim involving a commercial vehicle requires a personal injury attorney with specific experience with truck accidents and the trucking industry.
As experienced Philadelphia truck accident attorneys, Solnick & Associates can help. To learn more about how we can help you or schedule a free initial consultation, contact our firm today at 215-481-9979 or reach out online anytime.