Large commercial trucks are a vital component in the delivery and provision of consumer goods throughout the United States.
Despite the use of water, air, and railway modes of transport, tractor trailer delivery over the U.S. roadways account for 90 percent of this essential service.
With so many large rigs on the road, accidents are bound to happen. Often, safety violations are often contributing factors in these accidents.
Dangerous Inspection Violations
The trucking industry is regulated on both the federal and state level. Inspections are a large part of this oversight and are instrumental in ensuring that the semis being driven are fit to be on the road. Sadly, an alarming number of 18-wheelers in operation are not road-worthy.
Inspection Omissions and Failures
The most recent data available from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveals that 178,375 big rigs and buses received citations for failures in “inspection/repair and maintenance parts and accessories” in 2015. These issues include problems like broken steering parts, bald tires, and faulty brakes. This high number of reported inspection violations is startling. It means there are possibly thousands of 18-wheelers sharing the roadways with passenger automobiles that are not properly maintained, and potentially hazardous.
Some carriers engage in risky behavior designed to evade, rather than address, inspection issues. These “chameleons” change the names of their companies and the numbers assigned by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to avoid detection of deficiencies by the authorities. This unscrupulous practice keeps potentially unsafe 18-wheelers on the roads. It has been estimated that 18 percent of these “chameleon carriers” have been involved in serious collisions, a number three times higher than typical carriers.
One Pending Safety Reform
The FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have backed a proposed federal regulation that would require installation of a speed-limiting device on trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds. The trucking industry has argued against this measure and contends that these speed-limiting devices could actually create more hazardous situations.
If you or a family member have suffered serious injuries in a truck accident, safety violations may be a contributing factor. An experienced Trucking Accident lawyer can help investigate the crash to determine fault, and seek proper compensation for your damages.