Truck Drivers with Previous Traffic Violations Are More Likely to Cause Accidents

Carl Saiontz

By Carl Saiontz
Posted November 18, 2022


While most commercial drivers care tremendously about safety and take their responsibilities operating large vehicles seriously,  our truck accident lawyers have routinely seen examples of shocking behaviors leading up to some catastrophic crashes. In many cases, the negligent truck driver repeatedly ignored important safety requirements or showed a pattern of dangerous behavior long before being involved in a truck accident with one of our clients.

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released the findings of new research this week, which documents a direct connection between specific truck driving behaviors and past violations that increase the risk an individual will be involved in an accident. In this new report, titled Predicting Truck Crash Involvement: 2022 Update, researchers identified 25 different truck driver violations and behaviors that were most associated with an increased risk of being involved in a large truck accident.

Of the violations, five increased the likelihood of being in a crash by more than 100%, with drivers who were involved in a previous truck accident being among the highest risk.

Among the top five indicators of future crash involvement, researchers found the violations with the strongest correlation between driver behavior and future truck crashes included:

  • Failure to yield to vehicles with the right-of-way increased crash likelihood by 141%,
  • Failure to use directional signals increased crash likelihood by 116%,
  • Having been involved in a prior crash increased the likelihood of a future accident by 113%,
  • Having a reckless driving violation increased crash likelihood by 104%,
  • Those with violations of erratic lane changes increased the chances of a future crash by 79%.

violations with the strongest correlation between driver behavior and future truck crashes

In comparison to prior years, the risk of an accident for truck drivers who had violations for failure to use proper signals increased by 41.5% when compared to the 2018 report. Those with previous crashes also saw a significant increase in risk assessment, increasing 28.4% compared to the previous model.

The report further compared the amount of truck driver violations recorded from the 2018 report to the 2022 report, finding a 288% increase in traffic enforcement violations among truck drivers, a 31.6% increase in violations for failing to obey traffic control devices, and an 8.1% increase in truck driver speeding violations.

The ARTI has released several updates to its Predicting Truck Crash Involvement research, each of which offers insights to federal regulators on how to improve safety education for drivers, and ways to improve training materials that would benefit drivers with past violations or known behaviors that increase the risk of truck accidents.

Car & Truck Accident Deaths On The Rise

The increasing number of large truck accident crashes coincides with an increasing number of car accident fatalities nationwide, which have been on the rise for several consecutive years.

According to the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data, truck accidents involving both commercial and non-commercial trucks with a gross vehicle weight greater than 10,000 pounds increased 13% in 2021 when compared to 2020.

The agency reported there were 5,601 fatalities involving at least one large truck in 2021, compared to 4,965 fatalities in 2020, with the largest increases in fatalities occurring across January, February and October.

As for car accident fatalities, the NHTSA has recorded consecutive increases in overall car accident deaths over the last several years, with 33,244 fatalities in 2019, 38,824 in 2020, and 42,915 in 2021.

Car and truck accidents deaths by year

However, in one of the most recent reports released by the NHTSA, car accident fatalities may climb even higher in 2022 based on early estimates. In August, the agency released its early estimates of 2022 traffic fatalities, finding that at least 29 states reported increases over the first quarter of 2021.

Specifically, officials report at least 9,560 motor vehicle traffic deaths were reported in just the first quarter of 2022, which is a 7% increase over the 8,935 fatalities projected for the same quarter in 2021.

The rising rate of car accident road deaths has become a major focus of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in recent years. It released a series of safety recommendations in September 2018, calling for the NHTSA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) to collaborate on efforts to produce better standards to protect pedestrians.

Do I need a lawyer if I have been involved in an accident caused by a truck driver?

The Maryland tractor-trailer accident lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. have the experience and resources necessary to recover settlement benefits you are entitled to, not just what the truck company tells you they will pay.

If you, a friend, or a family member have sustained injuries as a result of a truck accident, request a free consultation to speak with a truck accident attorney. We can make sure that your rights are protected and maximize your recovery.

There are no fees or expenses until we win your case.

What Happens During a Free Maryland Truck Accident Consultation?

After contacting Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation, one of our experienced Maryland truck accident attorneys will speak with you and review the circumstances surrounding your crash. We will provide free advice and recommendations for dealing with the truck driver’s insurance company, and answer any questions you may have before deciding whether to hire a truck accident lawyer.

During your Free Maryland Truck Accident Consultation we will:


Discuss all of the insurance benefits you may be entitled to receive from the truck driver or tractor trailer company, and answer any questions you may have about filing a Maryland truck accident insurance claim.


Explain how our Baltimore truck accident law firm deals with insurance companies, and how we work to maximize the amount of money you receive in your pocket from an 18-wheeler accident settlement.


Review how our contingency attorney fees work, and make sure you understand that there are never any fees or expenses paid until we win your case and you receive a settlement.


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