Big rigs with bad brakes are dangerous enough. But if the cargo they carry is improperly loaded or unsecured, the deadly risks to other drivers multiply. A nationwide inspection of commercial trucks held earlier this year put a focus on these dangers.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, a not-for-profit organization that promotes trucking safety, held its annual three-day International Roadcheck event in June. Inspectors conducted random roadside examinations of tractor-trailers across North America. The organization recently released the inspectors’ findings.
Top Trucking Safety Violations
The CVSA conducted almost 45,000 North American Stand Level I Inspections, which are the most thorough, and found:
• 21.6 percent of trucks had what are called out-of-service violations, meaning they were so serious the trucks were considered an imminent hazard to public safety and taken off the road
• Almost 4 percent of drivers had out-of-service safety violations
The top truck driver safety violation (46 percent of all driver violations) was for flouting hours-of-service rules, which are designed to keep fatigued truckers off the road.
What was the leading truck safety violation? Dangerous brakes, which accounted for 43 percent of all commercial truck inspection violations.
Dangers of Improperly Loaded Commercial Trucks
Each year the CVSA puts an emphasis on one specific type of trucking safety violation. This year it was trucks with improperly loaded cargo. Inspectors found 2,439 violations for poorly secured truck cargo, with the top violations being:
• Truckers who failed to adequately prevent their load from possibly shifting or falling off
• Truckers who failed to properly secure truck equipment, such as tarps and spare tires
• Cargo tie downs that were damaged, loose, or insufficient for the load
The consequences of overloaded trucks and trucks with shifting cargo are substantial. Truckers with improperly loaded or poorly secured cargo can lose control of their rigs, causing serious injuries and loss of life to others.
Poor truck maintenance and negligent truck drivers are leading reasons for fatal roadway collisions. If you had a family member killed in a wreck involving a large truck, you may want to contact an attorney who represents victims of catastrophic trucking accidents to pursue your legal rights to just compensation for your tragic loss caused by others’ bad behavior.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.