After finding 12,000 commercial trucks with bad brakes and other serious maintenance issues earlier this summer, the same safety group handed out tickets to almost 1,500 speeding truck drivers just a few weeks later.
In June the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducted its annual roadside inspections of tractor-trailers throughout the United States and Canada. The CVSA is a consortium of law enforcement agencies and other organizations focused on making commercial truck travel safer. In a three-day period in early June, the CVSA inspected 67,072 semis as part of its effort to curtail defective maintenance, which is a leading cause of fatal truck accidents.
The CVSA inspectors took nearly 18% of the rigs off the road due to serious defective parts. The single most common issue uncovered was bad brakes, which accounted for 28% of all the out-of-service violations given that weekend.
With Operation Safe Driver Week in July, the CVSA honed in on the leading cause of fatal tractor-trailer crashes: reckless driver behavior.
Speeding Truck Drivers
On July 14-20, CVSA inspectors monitored truck drivers while they were behind the wheel, looking for any actions that would endanger other drivers on the road. This year’s event put a particular emphasis on speeding truck drivers. And they found plenty.
The number one truck driver ticket issued that week was for speeding and/or driving too fast for the road conditions. Truckers earned 1,454 speeding citations and another 2,126 speeding warnings from law enforcement.
Top 10 Careless, Dangerous Truck Driver Actions
Other top 10 negligent truck driver actions that earned tickets include other major causes for catastrophic commercial truck accidents, including:
· Truck driver failing to obey a traffic control device, such as a stop light
· Truck driver using a handheld cell phone to call or text
· Truck driver improperly changing lane
· Truck driver following too closely
· Truck driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs
· Truck driver passing improperly
· Truck driver driving while fatigued or ill
The federal government has tried to address dangerous truck driver behaviors. Hours of Service Rules were established to keep dangerously tired trucker off the road.
And over the summer Congress introduced a bill that would require speed limiters on all new commercial trucks. These devices would prevent big rigs from going more than 65 mph on the highway.
The trucking industry opposes both measures. Some trucking groups immediately denounced the speed limiter bill after it was announced. And trucking opposition to the Hours of Service Rules may pay off. In August the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed changes to fatigued truck driver restrictions that were pushed by truck lobbying groups.
Truck drivers and trucking companies don’t always take safety seriously enough, as demonstrated by the results of this year’s truck inspections and truck driver tickets. Until they do, others on the road will be in needless danger.
If you had a family member die or you were severely injured in a crash with a commercial tractor-trailer, a truck accident attorney can investigate on your behalf to determine who is responsible and hold them accountable.
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 23, 2019