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Top ten factors in driver history to predict truck wrecks

As a trucking accident attorney in Atlanta, I have sometimes wondered how can one predict which truck drivers will be in crashes. Now a study by the American Transportation Research Institute reveals the predictive value of driver records. Drawing on data from 582,772 U.S. truck drivers over a two-year time frame, the study shows that:

* A ‘failure to use/improper signal’ conviction was the leading conviction associated with an increased likelihood of a future crash. A truck driver convicted of this offense had a risk of future crash increased by 96 percent.

Nine additional convictions were also significant crash predictors:

* A past crash – 88 percent * An improper passing violation – 88 percent * An improper turn conviction – 84 percent * An improper or erratic lane change conviction – 80 percent * An improper lane/location conviction – 68 percent * A failure to obey traffic sign conviction – 68 percent * A speeding more than 15 mpg over speed limit conviction – 67 percent * Any conviction – 65 percent * A reckless/careless/inattentive/negligent driving conviction – 64 percent
Prudent trucking companies try to assess the crash risk of drivers. Others just don’t seem to care enough to examine anything. One former employer of a truck driver — whose new employer had not followed the rule requiring background checks — told me “I wouldn’t trust that boy to drive a wheelbarrow.” If the new employer had bothered to call the former employer, he would not have been hired, the new crash would not have happened, and my client wouldn’t have had his back broken.

Ken Shigley’s qualifications include:

– President-elect, State Bar of Georgia – Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy – “Super Lawyer” (Atlanta Magazine)
– “Legal Elite” (Georgia Trend Magazine)
– AV “Preeminent” – Listed in Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale)
– Author of Georgia Law of Torts: Trial Preparation & Practice (West 2010)
– Board member & faculty, Interstate Trucking Litigation Group – Former chair, Georgia Insurance Law Institute – Former chair, Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute He is a trial attorney in Atlanta, Georgia whose practices focuses on representation of plaintiffs in high end personal injury and wrongful death cases. He has extensive experience representing parties in trucking and bus accidents, products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury back injury, and burn injury cases.