Truck drivers in New Mexico and around the country carry not only the responsibility of moving freight but also employing safe drivers. Operating a tractor-trailer requires more training and experience than driving a smaller passenger vehicle. In addition to drivers’ skills, the experience of the trucking company may also play a role in promoting highway safety. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has found that newer carrier companies appear to have a rising rate of involvement in truck accidents. On top of this, the industry has seen a surge in new companies in recent years.
Declining performance records of new companies
Crash data for trucking companies formed since 2018 indicated that most of them will have trucks involved in a modest number of crashes during their first year in business. However, an analysis by the FMCSA found that their truck crashes actually increased in subsequent years.
According to government data, 1.3% of bus and truck crashes occurred to vehicles operated by brand new companies in 2018. By 2021, crashes among new companies accounted for 3.5% of total commercial truck accidents.
More new companies than ever before
Freight and bus operators must complete common-carrier registrations with the FMCSA. In this way, the government agency keeps track of companies operating in the sector. Back in 2019, roughly 8,500 registrations per month took place. By 2021, the agency recorded 17,000 registrations per month, a clear doubling of the number new companies.
In the interest of public safety, government researchers plan to look for differences between established truck operators and newer companies. The glut of new carriers may mean that some of them are not following good safety practices or screening drivers for proper experience.