Improperly Maintained Big Rigs on the Road Today

By September 12, 2019 October 4th, 2019 Blog, Car & Truck Accidents
improperly maintained trucks

In just three days this past summer more than 12,000 commercial tractor-trailers were taken off the road because they needed serious repairs.

Each year the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducts a three-day event of commercial truck roadside inspections in the United States and Canada.  The CVSA is a not-for-profit consortium of safety and law enforcement officials.  The group’s goal is to make commercial truck transportation safer.

This year’s event, called International Roadcheck and held June 4-6, is one annual step toward reaching that goal.  It’s significant because it puts a spotlight on a major cause of fatal trucking accidents: improperly maintained trucks. The organization recently released the findings of this year’s commercial truck inspections.

18 Percent of Commercial Trucks Found with Serious Equipment Problems

The CVSA inspected 67,072 big rigs.  Of those, 12,019 failed to the point that the trucks were given “out-of-service” violations.  They were pulled off the road and couldn’t return until the necessary mechanical repairs were completed.  So 18 percent of all the commercial tractor-trailers were deemed a substantial danger to the driving public due to mechanical defects.

The most stringent level of inspections conducted that June weekend are called Level I.  Level I inspections of tractor-trailers include detailed examinations of a commercial truck’s key mechanical systems, including:

·         Truck brake systems

·         Steering mechanisms

·         Truck lights

·         Truck tires

Inspectors also look for improperly loaded or improperly secured truck cargo, for obvious reasons.

While the overall rate of out-of-service violations was 18 percent, 21.5 percent of all big rigs that underwent the tougher Level I inspections failed and were mothballed for repairs.

Common Defective Tractor-Trailer Parts

The CVSA reported that bad brakes were the most the common out-of-service violation handed out.  Defective commercial truck brakes accounted for 28 percent of the most serious violations.  Defective truck tires and wheels (19 percent) were the second most common mechanical violation, followed by:

·         Truck brakes that needed adjusting

·         Improper cargo securement

·         Defective commercial truck lights

It’s not just a commonsense notion that tractor-trailers that are improperly maintained are dangerous.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a 60-year-old independent organization that provides research and education to reduce motor vehicle crashes, reports that trucks with defective equipment – such as brakes and steering systems – have crashed at much higher rates than properly maintained rigs.

Who is responsible for defective and unsafely operating commercial trucks?  The fault can rest with both the driver and the driver’s employer.  A truck driver should take note of any warning signs that may appear and have concerns examined.

And of course it’s the truck company’s responsibility to ensure no part of its fleet ever hits the street without proper regular maintenance or repairs of known problems.

When trucking companies or truck drivers ignore needed or scheduled maintenance, innocent victims can suffer.

If you lost a loved one or you were seriously hurt in a crash involving a commercial truck, turn to an experienced truck accident attorney to investigate for acts of serious negligence.

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

Authored by Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C., posted in Blog September 12, 2019