Safety officials pulled over commercial trucks for surprise inspections earlier this year, putting nearly one out of every four big rigs out of commission due to maintenance violations. And a sizeable number of truck drivers were taken off the road for serious safety abuses as well.
In June the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducted its annual International Roadcheck event, in which certified inspectors conduct roadside reviews of semis throughout North America. The three-day event garnered 54,300 inspections of both commercial vehicles and drivers in the United States alone.
Common Causes of Serious Truck Accidents
The results reflect two common causes of catastrophic truck accidents – improper maintenance and driver error.
Inspectors examined key operating and safety systems, including brakes, cargo securement, lights, and steering. Truckers were inspected as well. Their driving records, medical certifications, and hours of service documentation all were included.
The safety professionals conducted 41,000 Level 1 truck inspections, which are the most in-depth. Twenty three percent of these trucks had dangerous maintenance issues and placed out of service until the repairs were made.
Top Truck Maintenance Issues
The top truck maintenance issues uncovered during the inspections were:
· Bad brakes – 27 percent of the most serious violations
· Poorly secured truck cargo – 16 percent of the most serious violations
· Truck tires and wheels – 15 percent of the most serious violations
Even more troublesome, nearly 2,300 big rigs carrying hazardous cargo received inspections, and 13 percent were taken off the road for needed repairs. Problems with how the dangerous cargo was loaded or secured constituted the bulk of the violations – about 40 percent.
Nearly 3,000 truckers were found with serious violations. The top involved Hours of Service rules, which dictate how long a driver can be on the road. Related to that, 11 percent of the truckers were found with a false hours-log book to help skirt these rules. Why is this so concerning? Research has found truckers driving more than eight hours straight are twice as likely to crash.
Unsafe trucks and unsafe operators should not be on the road. As this recent inspection event uncovered, this is occurring at an alarming rate yet is largely preventable.
If you were seriously hurt or had a loved one killed in a crash with a commercial truck, consult a truck accident attorney to identify and pursue just compensation from careless truck drivers and their negligent employers.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.
Authored by Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C., posted in Blog September 11, 2017