According to an inspection event earlier this year, one out of every five commercial trucks and buses may have safety violations so serious they shouldn’t be on the road.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is a non-profit organization that seeks to enhance commercial vehicle safety in North America. It holds an annual event called International Roadcheck, which has police in United States and Canada conducting roadside inspections of big rigs and motorcoaches, as well as their drivers. This year’s event was held in June and the findings were just released.
Almost 63,000 inspections were held. Two-thirds were Level I inspections, which are the most extensive. Not only do inspectors review important tractor-trailer aspects, such as brakes, exhaust systems, turn signals, and cargo loading, they also scrutinize the truckers themselves. Inspectors check to see if drivers have a valid license and medical certificate, and are adhering to federal hours of service regulations.
One out of Five Trucks Taken off Road for Serious Safety Violations
Of the 42,000 commercial vehicles undergoing Level 1 inspections, 21.5 percent were found to have “out-of-service” violations, meaning the trucks and buses were pulled off the road until the appropriate repairs were made.
The top out-of-service safety violation was for bad brakes. They accounted for 46 percent of all serious maintenance issue citations. Another 14 percent of the most serious safety violations in U.S. trucks and buses were for bad tires.
Thirteen percent of trucks carrying hazardous cargo were found with safety violations so severe they were taken out of service. The top out-of-service violation for those big rigs was for improperly secured cargo.
Truckers Found to Violate Hours of Service Rules
The leading out-of-service violation for drivers was for disobeying federal hours of service rules, which limit working hours to reduce the number of fatigued truckers on the road. Correspondingly, the next top violation was for drivers falsifying their paper logs that track their working hours.
This inspection event captures the daily dangers posed by the trucking industry: poorly maintained trucks and truckers who behave negligently.
If you had a family member killed or if you were seriously hurt in a crash involving a commercial truck, consult an attorney who represent trucking accident victims. Unsafe truck drivers and unsafe trucking companies should be held accountable for their careless actions.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.