A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh more than 25 passenger cars, which makes it essential that trucking companies keep large trucks properly maintained. An improperly maintained commercial truck can cause devastating trucking accidents that result in catastrophic injuries like spinal cord injuries, traumatic head injuries, loss of limbs and wrongful death. Because of the risk of life-changing injuries and death, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance in collaboration with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration performed random safety checks of large trucks and buses between June 3rd and June 5th. The goal was to perform approximately 17 inspections per minute, which amounts to a total of 75,000 inspections.
2014 Random Large Truck and Bus Inspections Produced Disturbing Results
The annual three day period of roadside inspections has been an ongoing event for more than a quarter of a century. The need for such random inspections is evidenced by the results of the 2014 random inspection period. Nearly one in five vehicles subjected to inspection last year were removed from service for safety violations or non-compliance with federal regulations. As disturbing as these results might seem, the situation is likely far worse than the random inspections reveal. Because commercial carriers know when the inspections will be conducted in advance, many carriers elect to keep their non-compliant vehicles and drivers shutdown during this period. The most common mechanical violations included the following:
- Improper Loads: Almost 12 percent
- Lights: Almost 14 percent
- Tires/Wheels: Almost 14 percent
- Brake Adjustment: Almost 17 percent
- Brake Systems: Almost 30 percent
Driver and Maintenance Issues That 2015 Trucking Inspections Will Investigate
The June 2015 inspection period covered a broad range of potential safety issues and regulatory violations, such as:
Substance impairment (drugs/alcohol)
Current commercial license
Valid medical authorization
Review of hours of service logs
Vehicle Maintenance Violations
Coupling devices (fastening cab to trailer)
Evidence of Close Link between Trucking Accidents and Safety Violations
Studies have indicated a close relationship between defective equipment and tractor-trailer crashes. For example, a prominent Large Truck Crash Causation Study found that 55 percent of the large trucks had at last one mechanical violation. Moreover, nearly one in three of the tractor-trailer accidents included in the study involved mechanical violations serious enough to have the big-rig taken immediately out of service. Overall, the most common violations by large trucks involved in the crashes studied involved brake issues. Brake violations were found in 36 percent of the large trucks. Commercial trucks with out of adjustment brakes are 1.8 times more likely to be a vehicle that causes a crash. Brake violations significantly raise the probability that a commercial truck will cause a collision in both crossing-path and rear-end collisions.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Seeking Maximum Recovery for Damages Sustained Due to Negligence
If you are injured in a collision caused by a negligent truck driver or an indifferent trucking company, our Miami Trucking Accident Lawyers at Greenberg Stone and Urbano will tenaciously pursue the full compensation you deserve. For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across South Florida. We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Our skill and dedication has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.