Commercial Truck and Truck Driver Safety Violations

speeding truck pixlr

Add one more event mothballed because of the COVID-19 pandemic: A nationwide effort to find truckers who are driving carelessly.

This month was supposed to be National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  It was shelved.  Truckers who are driving distracted was one focus of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s International Roadcheck, scheduled for May 5-7.  The CVSA in late March announced it was postponing this safety event.

The CVSA is a nonprofit organization of safety and law enforcement officials whose mission is to make trucking safer throughout North America.  One way it does this is by holding several events throughout the year.  The International Roadcheck is one of its most prominent.

It’s also one of the most indicative of the everyday risks from negligent truck drivers and unsafe commercial trucks, as officials randomly pull over truckers to inspect their rigs and driving records.

Dangerous Maintenance Issues with Commercial Trucks

The officials conduct what are called North American Standard Level 1 inspections, with multiple checkpoints for both tractor-trailers and the drivers; many of which are leading causes of fatal truck crashes.

In terms of unsafe big rigs, inspectors looks for:

·         Unsafe truck brakes

·         Nonfunctioning headlights and turn signals

·         Faulty truck steering systems

·         Worn out truck tires

·         Defective rear end crash impact guards

Inspectors also review important information and warning signs about truck drivers.  These include:

·         Medical examiners certificates to ensure truckers have no serious health problems that can impair driving performance

·         Hours of service information to ensure truckers are following federal work and rest regulations

·         Any evidence of truckers’ use of illicit drugs and/or alcohol

Out-of-Service Violations for Trucks and Truckers

Of the more than 67,000 inspections conducted last year over that 72-hour period in June, a little over 12,000 18-wheelers were found to have critical maintenance or operational violations.  These violations were deemed so serious the inspectors pulled them from the road.

Nearly 2,900 truck drivers were given these most serious “out-of-service” violations as well.

In either case, the rig had to be repaired or the truck driver violation cleared before they were allowed back into service.  About 18% if the commercial trucks were found dangerously unsafe and 4% of the truck drivers the same.

The top truck mechanical defects the inspectors found last year were:

·         Defective brakes – 28% of all out-of-service vehicle violations

·         Unsafe tires and wheels – 19%

·         Brake adjustments – 17%

·         Unsafe cargo securement – 12%

The top truck driver out-of-service violations included:

·         Hours of service violation

·         Falsified driving log

·         Suspended license

·         Drugs or alcohol use

Trucks carrying hazardous materials were placed in a separate category.  They had a 13.7% out-of-service violation rate.  Truckers hauling hazardous materials had a 1.4% rate of serious violations.

The CVSA International Roadcheck is an annual event.  Unfortunately, in at least the last six years these troubling results that reflect negligent truck driver or trucking company behavior have remained relatively the same.

If you lost a family member or you were seriously hurt in a crash with a commercial truck, turn to a truck accident lawyer to represent your legal rights to just compensation from all negligent parties.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

Authored by Gray Ritter Graham, posted in Blog April 22, 2020


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