Inspection spree sidelines thousands of trucks

West Virginia drivers often have to share the road with large commercial vehicles. This is one of the reasons why the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance periodically performs roadside inspections to identify possible safety violations. During an inspection blitz that took place in early June, more than 11,800 trucks and buses and 2,664 drivers were placed out-of-service. The primary focus of this round of vehicle assessments was hours-of-service violations, which ended up being responsible for more than 40 percent of the problems that affected drivers.

The purpose of these CVSA inspections is to minimize big rig accidents as much as possible by keeping drivers and vehicles with violations off the road. Over three days, approximately 67,000 roadside inspections were conducted. Of the 45,000-plus vehicles subjected to level I inspections, just under 22 percent ended up being placed out-of-service. Results from level I, II, and III inspections kept approximately 4 percent of drivers from immediately getting back behind the wheel.

Nearly 30 percent of the trucks taken off the road had issues with brake systems. Problems with tires and wheels were discovered on 19 percent of the vehicles, and a little over 16 percent of trucks inspected were sidelined because of brake adjustment issues. Most of the drivers were cited for hours-of-service violations. Other driver-specific issues involved license class discrepancies, record of duty status, and not adhering to license restrictions. Just over 8 percent of vehicle drivers were caught driving with a suspended license.

A personal injury lawyer may use available inspection data when evaluating cases involving truck accidents that has harmed clients who were occupants of other vehicles. For instance, a truck company may be considered a responsible party if they allowed trucks to remain in service with known brake, suspension, exhaust, or steering problems. If driver fatigue was a contributing factor to an accident, an attorney might check for hours-of-service issues.

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