A Harvest of Sorrows
A motor carrier’s loss run report can say a lot about where they are at when it comes to safety. A loss run is a report that offers a history of claims that have been made on a commercial insurance policy.
Here are a few incidents from a loss run I recently viewed . . .
1.) Description of Collision: The tractor-trailer was turning right when the driver realized he did not have enough space to execute the turn, so he backed up in the turning lane and backed into the vehicle in line behind him.
Claims for injuries, as a result of this collision, were presented and the insurance company settled for $100,000.
2.) Description of Collision: Tractor-trailer was making a right and misjudged the turn and said he had to back up to make it. The vehicle behind was slightly bumped while the truck was backing.
The other vehicle left the scene and no police report made.
3.) Description of Collision: The tractor-trailer missed its turn, stopped and reversed without looking, striking the left front of the other vehicle.
The insurance company paid $6,600 in damages.
4.) Description of Incident: After pulling the loaded trailer from the dock, the driver could not find an empty parking space to drop the trailer. He dropped the trailer on side of driveway where other trailers and rigs had previously parked. After he pulled out from under trailer and went around to pick up an empty, he witnessed the trailer tip over onto its right side. Ground under right landing gear was soft.
The insurance company paid $3,200 in damages to the trailer and the freight, for unloading the trailer, and for tow trucks.
5.) Description of Incident: The driver was backing under trailer. He did not realize the trailer was too high. Damage resulted to the bunk extenders and brackets.
The insurance company paid $6,440 for repairs.
One thing that can stand out on a loss run report is the fact that some of the same drivers keep having “bad luck.” About ten percent of a fleet’s “high-risk” drivers can result in one third of all claims, according to some studies.
This is why it pays to investigate each and every accident and incident and have an accident preventability program in place and “score” each and every safety event. Was it really a case of the driver being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or was it simply the bad judgment of the driver that resulted in the collision or incident? We know driver error is responsible for most collisions.
- Backing in traffic is a major no-no. There is simply no excuse for it. Having a number of these same incidents over time tells me this mid-sized carrier does not care about training or safety (as was the case).
- Backing under a trailer and ramming the back of the cab is . . . dumb. The driver rolled the dice on that one . . . and lost.
- Sure . . . they might drop empties along the driveway . . . not fully loaded trailers. Why didn’t the driver find a plank to put under the landing gear if he wanted to set a loaded trailer on bare earth? Why not indeed . . .
In final analysis, in my opinion, this carrier wants to keep expanding, but doesn’t want to bother with investing in safety. They don’t determine accident preventability. They don’t have safety meetings. Their next loss run most likely will be much like their last one . . . if they can find a risk partner to underwrite their losses . . .
Thank you for reading this.