Litigating Against C.R. England: What the Injured Need to Know
One of the great conundrums in the trucking industry is that experienced drivers are generally safer drivers, but the industry faces a shortage of drivers, meaning that there just aren't enough truck drivers, experienced or otherwise. C.R. England (CRE) attempts to solve this problem by operating its own trucking schools. CRE then guarantees jobs for qualifying drivers who graduate from these schools.
As a result, C.R. England tends to employ far more newly minted truck drivers than many other large trucking companies. One of the problems this can create is that untested drivers are more likely to cause crashes that kill or injure people than veteran truckers. Unfortunately for most victims, C.R. England's training program is fairly rigorous when properly followed and no company will voluntarily hand over information that paints them in a bad light, or suggests that there were warning signs that a driver could hurt someone.
The first step in holding a trucking company accountable for any injuries or deaths that their drivers cause is to get all of the facts. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have been doing just that for nearly 3 decades.
Questions answered on this page
- How many trucks does C.R. England operate?
- How many crashes have C.R. England drivers been involved in?
- How can inexperienced drivers lead to more crashes?
C.R. England Company Overview
Operating out of Salt Lake City, Utah, C.R. England is the largest refrigerated trucking company in the United States and the 26th largest trucking company of any kind. It is a family-owned, privately-held company that generated $1.3 billion of revenue in 2017.
As previously mentioned, in addition to hauling refrigerated cargo, C.R. England also operates its own driving schools. This means that not only does C.R. England control the hiring process of its drivers, but also the training they receive while learning how to drive a commercial truck.
The company employs 6,511 drivers and operates 4,500 trucks. In a given year, these trucks haul goods more than 514 million miles. One number that jumps out in those statistics is that the number of drivers vastly exceeds the number of trucks. This can mean one of two things; either C.R. England employs more tandem drivers than the industry norm, or there are far more drivers in training than at most other trucking companies. It's impossible to discern which is the case from outside of the company.
For the period covering 2016-2018, C.R. England trucks were involved in 654 crashes. Of that total, 179 resulted in at least one injury, while another 19 led to a fatality. On a per mile basis, C.R. England trucks are roughly 33% more likely to be involved in a crash than a larger company, like UPS. Certainly, some of that difference is due to the different nature of the trucking the two companies do. It's also important to note that federal commercial truck crash statistics do not consider fault in crashes, only whether or not a company's truck was involved. However, being involved in that many more crashes is certainly something that should raise eyebrows, particularly for an experienced truck accident injury attorney.
The Risk of Inexperienced Truck Drivers
This isn't news to anyone, but people who lack experience doing a particular task are usually more likely to perform that task poorly. For example, teenagers have a rap for being particularly dangerous drivers. The number show that they're the most dangerous drivers on the road. Most people blame this on their youth and poor judgment, but the facts show that people who learn to drive in their 20s still experience higher crash rates than 20-somethings who learned to drive as teenagers. While age may play a role in crashes, the far more important factor is experience behind the wheel.
The same goes for driving commercial trucks. Driving 40 tons of vehicle and cargo down the road doesn't come naturally to most people. In fact, one of the most significant positive aspects of C.R. England's training program is that it gives drivers more time behind the wheel with an experienced driver than other programs, before they're turned loose and have to sink or swim on their own. While this can mitigate some of the dangers posed by inexperienced drivers, it doesn't completely make up for their lack of experience. And when we're talking about operating a commercial truck at highway speeds, mistakes, whether from carelessness or inexperience, can have deadly consequences.
There's no such thing as a "new driver" defense. The law sets a single standard that all drivers have to meet, regardless of their experience, or lack thereof, driving. For commercial truck drivers, this is an even higher standard of care, because of their extra training and the fact they're professional, not amateur, drivers.
Most trucking companies prefer to steer clear of inexperienced drivers because of the issues mentioned here. One thing that victims can be certain of is that a trucking company won't volunteer the fact that a driver involved in a crash didn't have that much time behind the wheel. Further, there is no way for the injured or those who have lost a loved one to obtain any information about an inexperienced driver's record without subpoena power.
This is important, because many crashes involving commercial vehicles aren't clear-cut in terms of who caused the wreck. Often the missing piece of the puzzle can turn out to be a mistake that a rookie driver made that a veteran wouldn't. In many complex truck crashes, a driver's history (or lack thereof) can be the difference between holding the driver fully accountable and losing a case entirely.
This isn't to pick on inexperienced drivers. Every great truck driver was new to the profession at some point. However, they all managed to safely navigate the perils of being an inexperienced driver, while so many others do not. Commercial truck accident victims don't get to pick the skill and experience of the driver who injures them or kills a loved one, but they can hold companies accountable for putting drivers on the road who may be more dangerous than the average trucker.
Put Grossman Law Offices' Nearly 30 Years of Experience to Work For You
Our firm's nearly 3 decades of experience holding negligent trucking companies accountable means that our attorneys know that getting information about a truck driver's background is just one critical task to be performed as part of successful commercial truck accident litigation. That experience, honed in hundreds of commercial truck accident cases, leads our attorneys to be aware of issues that less experienced attorneys would simply overlook. It also means that we have been able to cultivate an impeccable stable of truck accident investigators, expert accident reconstructionists, and subject matter expert witnesses, who can work together to tell your side of the story.
If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a commercial truck accident, contact Grossman Law Offices today at (855) 326-0000 to find out how we can help you. All consultations are free and confidential and we answer the phone anytime, day or night.
Related Articles for Further Reading