In June, commercial vehicle inspectors conducted over 67,000 inspections during the 2019 Commercial Safety Alliance’s three-day long enhanced enforcement effort. As a result of the inspections, 12,019 commercial vehicles and 2,784 drivers were put out-of-service for critical inspection violations. This represents 17.9% of the vehicles and 4.2% of the drivers inspected during the event. Included in the inspected vehicles were 3,851 commercial vehicles carrying hazardous materials or dangerous goods. Among those, 527 trucks were found to have out-of-service conditions.
During the three-day span, more than 13,000 inspectors spent 72 hours working to remove unsafe heavy commercial vehicles from U.S. and Canadian roadways. This year, the emphasis of the inspections was on steering and suspension systems. Together, steering and suspension violations encompassed 6.8% of all documented out-of-service violations.
The leading documented vehicle violations were the following:
- Braking systems, 28% of total violations
- Tires and wheels, 19.3% of total violations
- Brake adjustment, 17.1% of total violations
- Cargo securement, 12.2% of total violations
- Lighting devices, 11.5% of violations
The leading documented driver violations were the following:
- Hours-of-service, 37.2% of total violations
- Wrong class license, 22.5% of violations
- Falsified logs, 14.7% of violations
- “Other”, 11.1% of violations
- Suspended license, 7.3% of violations
Coming next is the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Brake Safety Week, which is scheduled to begin Sep. 15 and will focus on commercial vehicles’ brake hoses and tubing. Throughout the week, enforcement officials will once again conduct increased roadside inspections and identify critical safety violations in inspected vehicles.
These results reveal the continuous and alarming number of potentially unsafe commercial vehicles and drivers still operating on roads. Unsafe truckers are particularly dangerous to individuals sharing the road with them: 82% of fatalities in large truck crashes in 2017 were people who were not occupants of the involved truck. Clearly, much more must be done to enhance safety within the industry. At a minimum, employers must take the initiative to regularly ensure that their vehicles and drivers are fully compliant with industry safety requirements.
Michael Leizerman is a truck accident attorney specializing in catastrophic multi-axle collisions. He understands all facets of truck accident litigation; including federal regulations, drug and alcohol testing and hours of service requirements. He has authored a treatise entitled Litigating Truck Accident Cases and often educates other attorneys on trucking laws and regulations. You can learn more about Leizerman & Young by visiting their website, www.truckaccidents.com.