Inspectors recently found that a substantial percentage of U.S. commercial truckers were violating federal rules designed to keep dangerously tired truck drivers off the road.
In May the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducted its annual International Roadcheck event – three days of random roadside inspections of truckers and their rigs. Inspectors throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico uncovered thousands of unsafe truck drivers and unsafe vehicles.
The most serious of violations issued are called out-of-service violations because the truck driver or vehicle is not allowed to proceed without first getting the violation corrected or necessary repairs made.
In early August the CVSA announced the results. Nearly 20,000 U.S. inspections were conducted over three days. The most comprehensive are called Level 1 inspections. About 4,100 trucks that underwent the Level 1 inspection were found to be so dangerous they received out-of-service violations. That’s about one out of every that underwent Level 1 inspections.
Inspectors issued Level 1 out-of-service violations to nearly 1,100 U.S. truck drivers, or about 5% of all truckers nationwide that underwent this most rigorous review. In total, 2,447 U.S. truck drivers received out-of-service violations from all inspections conducted.
Violations of Federal Hours of Service Rules
The number one out-of-service violation issued involved a breach of Hours-of Service rules – almost 34% of trucker out-of-service violations.
Federal Hours of Service rules mandate how many hours per day and per week a truck driver can be behind the wheel. They also require periods of rest.
Drowsy tired truck drivers have caused serious and fatal truck crashes. The federal rules are designed to prevent fatigued truckers from threatening others.
Most over-the-road truckers must track their driving hours. Unscrupulous truck drivers were found to keep two sets of logbooks – one with actual driving hours and one to show police that has fudged hours.
False driving logs were also among the top five truck driver out-of-service violations issued in this year’s International Roadcheck. Rounding out the top five were:
· Driving with the wrong class of commercial vehicle driver’s license
· “Other” – an umbrella category that involved miscellaneous violations such as driving while ill or fatigued or driving in violation of the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse
· Driving with a suspended license
Commercial Trucks Found with Dangerous Brakes
Dangerous truck brakes were a very common out-of-service vehicle violation. More than one-quarter of the 8,293 truck out-of-service violations were for bad brakes.
Following defective truck brakes, the other top truck maintenance out-of-service violations were:
· Worn or defective truck tires
· Nonworking headlamps, tail lamps, turn signals, etc.
· Brake maladjustment
· Improperly secured truck cargo
The Level 1 truck inspections also check hazardous materials, inspecting for signs of leaking material and unsecured dangerous cargo. Over half of the U.S. out-of-service violations relating to hazardous materials were for improper loading.
This year’s International Roadcheck results highlight the significant everyday potential for serious truck crashes caused by negligent, tired truck drivers and their improperly maintained commercial trucks.
If you were seriously injured or you lost a family member in a crash with a commercial truck, speak with a truck accident lawyer about pursuing just compensation for all those responsible.
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 August 23, 2021