A recent study released by the American Association for Justice provides new insight into the performance of Iowa trucking companies.
According to the report, several trucking firms in Iowa and across the country have violated safety regulations over the past 20 years, regularly putting other motorists in danger.
The American Association of Justice compiled information from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to analyze truck safety performance.
In Iowa alone, more than 950 trucking companies have been penalized for federal safety regulation violations, the AAJ reported. Nationally, more than 28,000 trucking companies have violated safety regulations since 1980.
According to Brenda Neville, president of the Iowa Motor Truck Association, the percentage of trucks and drivers in violation of federal safety regulations is small compared to the total number on the road, and overall safety has improved.
The list of violations reported by the American Association for Justice ranges from truck malfunctions to driver issues, including defective parts; improperly maintained equipment, such as worn-out tires or brakes; loading trucks to the weight limit, making them top-heavy and unstable; sending out inexperienced drivers; and allowing drivers with alcohol and drug problems to operate trucks.
These safety violations are believed to contribute to numerous trucking accidents.
In 2008, 58 people were killed in vehicle accidents involving trucks in Iowa alone. These trucking accident deaths accounted for 14 percent of the total state highway death toll in 2008.
The state division of the AAJ, the Iowa Association for Justice, could use the report to ask the Iowa legislature for more stringent safety regulations for trucks. However, no action has yet been taken.