Semi-tractor trailers weighing as much as 80,000 pounds are a common sight on the roads of Virginia and around the country, and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance works to ensure that they are properly maintained and operated by drivers who follow federal safety regulations. The nonprofit organization, which is made up of federal, state and local agencies, inspects thousands of vehicles and driver log books each year during a three-day safety effort, and the results of the 2016 International Roadcheck campaign were published on Oct. 20.
Between June 7 and June 9, the CVSA conducted 62,796 commercial vehicle inspections, and brake violations were the most common problem encountered. Of the 9,080 trucks taken out of service following these inspections, more than 45 percent were ordered off the road because their braking systems were deemed to be potentially unsafe. Other issues uncovered during the CVSA safety blitz included wheel and tire violations, faulty steering systems and hazardous coupling arrangements.
Violations of federal hours-of-service regulations topped the list of reasons for truck drivers to be ordered off the road, but falsified log book entries were also common. The CVSA pointed out that the number of trucks and commercial vehicle drivers placed out of service during the 72-hour campaign in 2016 were the lowest ever recorded during the annual safety effort.
When seeking compensation on behalf of truck accident victims, personal injury attorneys may check official records to find out if either the truck or truck driver involved has been cited for violating federal safety regulations. Trucking companies are expected to make sure that their vehicles are properly maintained and safe to operate, and federal rules designed to reduce drowsy driving accidents limit the amount of time that truck drivers can spend behind the wheel. Frequent violations of these safety rules could be used by attorneys to establish a pattern of negligent behavior in truck accident lawsuits.