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Trucking company involved in fatal truck accident in Preble County, Ohio, has increasingly deadly record

Written by Steve Gursten Posted February 25th, 2017

Data from FMCSA’s SAFER system shows fatal truck accidents involving Swift Transportation jumped 71%; injury accidents went up 52%; and overall accidents increased 54%

I litigated my truck injury case with Swift Transportation in 2007. It appears the Ohio trucking company wants to make sure truck wreck attorneys like myself are keeping busy.  Swift Transportation is a motor carrier that has seen its “fatal” crash rate increase approximately 71% since just 2012.

As a general rule, and after practicing truck accident litigation for now over 20 years, I can say that trucking companies tend to come in two varieties.

There are those that are driving toward safety and those that are driving away from it.

Unfortunately, the companies that are driving away from safety tend to stay hidden until a tragedy has occurred.

Or a 71% spike in tragedy, as in the case of Swift Transportation.

According to a WDTN story, “Semi-truck company involved in hundreds of crashes,” the truck driver, who “worked for Swift Transportation,” died when he crashed his semi-truck “into the back end of a flatbed trailer …” It was also reported that the “Ohio State Highway Patrol said speed may have been a factor” in causing the deadly truck accident.

Truck accidents involving deaths and injuries increase for Swift Transportation

The WDTN story reported that statistics and data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) showed:

“Swift Transportation drivers have been involved in more than 650 crashes over the past two years, and of those crashes, 65 were fatal like Monday night’s multi-vehicle crash in Preble County.”

Indeed, the FMCSA’s SAFER system’s “Company Snapshot” of Swift Transportation shows that, for the “24 months prior to: 2/23/2017,” the trucking company’s involvement in truck accidents was as follows:

  • A total of 2,311 crashes.
  • 1,584 accidents that required the company’s truck to be towed from the scene.
  • 662 injury accidents.
  • 65 fatal trucking accidents.

This is significant and troubling. When the crash rates are getting worse over time, it normally indicates system failures within the company.  The very job of a truck safety director is to educate, train, monitor and supervise drivers to lower crash rates. When the numbers of wrecks and deaths are going up instead of down, the failure is not a series of unfortunate and unlucky events, but a system that is broken within the company.

According to “Swift Transportation Accident History” data, “in the 24-month period prior to Oct. 18, 2012, Swift drivers were reported to have been involved in 1,500 crashes, 435 involving injuries, including 38 deaths.”

That means the number of truck accidents – overall and those resulting in injury or death – in which Swift Transportation has been involved have increased as follows:

  • Fatal accidents increased approximately 71%.
  • Injury accidents increased approximately 52%.
  • Overall trucking accidents increased approximately 54%.


About Steve Gursten

Attorney Steven Gursten is president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association and past president of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. He has been named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leader in the Law" for his efforts to prevent truck accidents and promote national truck safety. Steve was also a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Lawyer of the Year" for a record settlement in a truck accident case. He has received the top reported truck accident jury verdict and top reported truck accident settlement in Michigan for multiple years, according to published year-end compilations of all jury verdicts and personal injury settlements by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He has been named a "Top 50 Super Lawyer," by SuperLawyers, is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and has been awarded an AV-rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating for legal ability and ethics. Steve speaks to lawyers throughout the country on truck accident litigation. He is a founding member of the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable, head of Michigan Auto Law, and has dedicated his legal career to making our roads safer.
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