Which Trucking Companies Have The Most Accidents?

In a world of vast, interconnected economies and just-in-time supply chains, the trucking industry in America is bigger and more essential than ever before. Millions of commercial trucks roam the streets and highways each year, transporting more than 72% of all U.S. freight by tonnage. These trucks are operated by a workforce of more than 3.5 million drivers, ranking trucking as one of the nation’s largest occupations.

However, this rosy economic picture also conceals a darker side. Despite increased regulation and advances in technology, safety remains a glaring issue across the industry. On average, there are more than 400 traffic accidents involving commercial trucks every day, posing a serious and ever-present risk to other motorists. To understand this danger plaguing America’s roadways, we first need to examine the scale of the problem and the companies responsible for driving it.

Calculating the Human Costs of Trucking

Throughout the United States, tractor-trailer and delivery truck accidents are disconcertingly common. According to annual crash data collected by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were a total of 153,100 trucking-related accidents in 2023 alone. These collisions resulted in 4,621 fatalities and 72,195 reported injuries.

Unfortunately, this terrible toll was far from an aberration. Between 2020 and 2023, the trucking industry averaged a staggering 160,000 crashes and 5,200 fatalities per year. Less than 5% of registered vehicles are classified as large trucks, yet they account for approximately 13% of all deaths that occur on the road. Accident attorneys have helped many of these crash victims and their families secure significant compensation, but some losses simply can’t be replaced.

Naturally, this raises a fundamental question: who’s at fault for this enormous risk to public safety?

The Most Accident-Prone Trucking Companies

Even in an industry known for its less-than-stellar safety standards, some companies have developed particularly troubling reputations. This includes several of the most successful and widely recognized names in the business. In fact, in the last two years, just five carriers combined to tally nearly 10,000 crashes across the country. So, which trucking companies have caused the most havoc among motorists?


FedEx employs more than 119,000 vehicles and 150,000 drivers between its various divisions, making it one of the biggest transportation companies in America. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that it also routinely accounts for more crashes than any other trucking carrier. The FMCSA Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) database recorded 3,486 FedEx truck accidents in the 24 months leading up to March 2024, causing at least 115 deaths and 1,124 injuries.


Like its primary competitor, UPS operates a massive courier service that includes approximately 123,000 vehicles and 128,000 drivers. Its trucks were involved in 2,675 reportable crashes in the two-year period covered in the FMCSA database, trailing only FedEx among U.S. companies. In all, 67 of these UPS truck accidents were fatal and another 898 resulted in injuries.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services

With an estimated 24,000 semi-trailer trucks and 27,000 drivers on the road, J.B. Hunt is the nation’s third-largest trucking firm. Despite boasting a detailed safety program and advanced simulator training, however, its drivers still totaled 1,795 accidents in two years. This included 51 fatal crashes and 549 collisions in which at least one person was injured.

Swift Transportation Co.

Billed as the largest full truckload carrier in the U.S., Swift Transportation’s fleet includes nearly 14,000 commercial trucks and drivers. Swift Transportation trucks were involved in 924 accidents in the 24 months before March 2024, with 33 of these resulting in deaths and another 284 causing one or more injuries.

Werner Enterprises

According to the latest FMCSA data, Werner Enterprises put at least 10,500 drivers behind the wheel of more than 9,500 commercial trucks in the 24 months prior to March 2024. In that time, the company reported 847 total collisions and 26 fatal accidents. At least one person was hurt in a further 244 crashes.

Of course, accident totals alone don’t tell the whole story. After all, the more trucks a company puts on the road, the more crashes they’re likely to have. That’s why analysts typically prefer to put this data into context by looking at the rate at which collisions occur. Comparing these carriers by the number of crashes per million miles driven can provide a better idea of how often their trucks are actually involved in accidents:

  • J.B. Hunt: 0.555
  • Werner Enterprises: 0.490
  • FedEx: 0.396
  • UPS: 0.395
  • Swift Transportation: 0.379

Why Is Commercial Trucking So Dangerous?

Due to their enormous size and weight, commercial trucks have larger blind spots and higher centers of gravity than ordinary vehicles. They’re also much harder to stop or turn sharply, leaving very little room for error when maneuvering through unpredictable traffic in ever-changing road conditions. It’s easy to see why driving a delivery truck or tractor-trailer is consistently ranked as one of the deadliest jobs in America, with a fatal work injury rate eight times higher than the national average.

Unlike many other occupations, however, these potential hazards don’t just affect truckers themselves. Large trucks are far more likely to cause serious injuries or fatalities in accidents than passenger vehicles alone, putting other motorists in great danger when something goes wrong. As such, trucking companies have a critical obligation to mitigate these risks and ensure both their vehicles and their drivers are as safe as possible.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Many truckers work long, grueling shifts at irregular hours, which can cause increased fatigue and impaired driving performance. What’s more, carriers routinely operate on extremely tight schedules that leave little time for unexpected delays. Drivers who fail to make deliveries on time may face professional consequences. This pressure to adhere to unrealistic schedules often fosters a culture of recklessness, leading truckers to drive at higher speeds and take unnecessary risks to avoid being late.

To make matters worse, recent trends have resulted in carriers increasingly sending drivers out into the field without adequate training and preparation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the combination of plummeting diesel prices and skyrocketing demand for goods produced an unexpected boom in the trucking industry. With a proliferation of new jobs to fill, many carriers opted to bring in new hires rather than experienced truckers who could command higher salaries. Between 2020 and 2023, thousands of people began signing up and climbing into the cab for the first time.

While all truckers are required to have a Commercial Driver License (CDL), this is no guarantee that they can do the job safely. Trucking companies also need to provide hands-on training and instruction, conduct background checks, perform periodic drug testing and ensure their drivers are physically and mentally fit to operate a commercial vehicle. However, these safety measures are frequently among the first things that carriers target when cutting costs. As a result, the quality of training that drivers receive can vary greatly from company to company.

When all of these forces combine, the results can be tragic. In one of the most high-profile 18 wheeler accidents in recent years, an inexperienced driver in Colorado overused his brakes to the point of failure while attempting to navigate a notoriously treacherous mountain pass. Unable to stop his fully loaded semi, he careened into heavy traffic at nearly 85 mph. The fiery crash damaged or destroyed 28 vehicles and ultimately claimed the lives of four people.

What to Do If You’re in a Truck Accident

Sadly, the fatal 2019 accident in Colorado is also instructive for another reason. Like most carriers, the trucking company carried only the minimum required liability insurance of $750,000. In the wake of such a catastrophic event, this paltry sum disappeared quickly. So, too, did the business responsible for the crash. By the time many of the victims began hiring accident attorneys, there was no money left to cover their damages.

Consequently, it’s essential to act quickly if you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial truck crash. Whenever possible, it’s helpful to begin by taking photos and documenting the accident at the scene. In addition, be sure to request a police report from the responding officers and make a note of any key details, including the type of truck and the company at fault.

Most importantly, don’t delay in contacting a delivery truck accident attorney. Beyond simply representing you in court, qualified accident lawyers can provide an array of valuable services. These include investigating the details of your crash, performing legal research, communicating with third parties and guiding you through the entire claims process. A skilled attorney can work with you to build the strongest possible claim, maximizing your likelihood of receiving fair compensation.

If you’ve had an accident in which a commercial truck was at fault, you don’t have to carry the burden alone. Tractor-trailer and delivery truck accident lawyers can help you pursue justice and get the compensation you need to recover and regain peace of mind.