Serious Commercial Truck Maintenance and Truck Driver Issues

Over just three days in May, inspectors found thousands of commercial trucks with defective brakes so dangerous they were immediately taken off U.S. roads.

Catastrophic truck crashes can be linked to maintenance issues, such as defective brakes and defective truck tires.  The Commercial Vehicle Alliance, a coalition of law enforcement and safety officials focused on making commercial trucking safer, holds an annual event, called International Roadcheck, to stop poorly maintained trucks from hurting others.

This year’s International Roadcheck was held May 17-19. Inspectors in Canada, Mexico and the United States conducted roadside inspections of commercial trucks and commercial truck drivers. More than 33,000 trucks and truck drivers in the United States underwent Level 1 inspections.

Level 1 inspections include commercial truck components and truck driver credentials. The most serious violation issued during one of these inspections, for either a mechanical defect or driver issue, is an “out-of-service” violation (OOS). An OOS violation requires that a mechanical repair be made or a truck driver violation resolved before proceeding.

In the United States, nearly a quarter of all commercial trucks inspected (23.7%) were issued an OOS violation during the 2022 International Roadcheck.  Six percent of the U.S. commercial truck drivers received an OOS violation.

Top Commercial Truck Mechanical Defects

Dangerous truck brake systems comprised the top reason for truck OOS violations. Nearly 4,000 of the truck OOS violations were for bad brakes systems, which represented 24% of all commercial truck OOS violations.

The other top reasons for commercial truck OOS violations were:

Inspectors cited commercial truck drivers for their negligent behavior as well.

Fatigued commercial truck drivers can cause deadly trucking accidents.  Federal Hours of Service (HOS) rules limit how many hours per day and per week truck drivers can be behind the wheel.

Truck Driver Violations of Hours of Service Rules

Commercial truckers must track their hours to ensure they are adhering to federal HOS rules. Previously, truck drivers recorded their driving hours in paper logs, which can be manipulated or falsified.

A few years ago the federal government initiated the Electronic Log Device mandate. Paper logs were outlawed and truck drivers now must record their drivers using computerized devices.

However, the top OOS violation issued to U.S. commercial truck drivers was for false logs. Almost half who were given an OOS violation (45%) received it for having false driving logs.

Commercial trucks should be properly maintained to prevent dangerous issues, such as defective brakes, and to repair known defects, such as worn tires.  Commercial truckers should address known defects and follow all federal safety requirements, including HOS rules.

If you or a loved one was the victim of a serious truck accident, turn to a personal injury lawyer to pursue your legal rights to just compensation.

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 September 29, 2022.


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