Every year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) conducts International Roadcheck throughout North America. The event is touted as “a high-volume, high-visibility three-day enforcement initiative that highlights the importance of commercial motor vehicle safety through roadside inspections.” Each year, there is a special emphasis on specific categories of violations.
To highlight just how critical roadside inspections are, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that in 2019, there were 3.36 million inspections conducted, resulting in 944,794 driver violations and 195,545 out-of-service conditions.
This year’s International Roadcheck was scheduled to take place May 5-7, however, the CVSA has announced that the event will be postponed indefinitely due to the CORVID-19 pandemic and the spike in demand for goods which requires the full service of trucking companies and truck drivers.
Does This Mean Safety Rules Are Relaxed?
The CVSA typically pulls over more than 13,000 commercial trucks during the annual event. It is estimated that during last year’s event, there were more than 67,000 truck inspections conducted in the U.S. and Canada. These inspections found more than 12,000 critical vehicle issues and more almost 3,000 truck driver violations. The drivers and the vehicles were removed from the roads until the violations they were cited for were resolved.
Usually, the International Roadcheck is one of the most dreaded events by trucking companies and their drivers. Knowing the inspection event is approaching on the calendar is often an incentive for truck companies to keep up with the maintenance needs of their fleets. Keep in mind that any out-of-service order a truck company receives results in the lowering of the company’s federal score and this can mean a loss of income. The postponement of the event could potentially mean a delay in truck drivers and companies addressing any of these potentially dangerous issues they would have addressed if the inspections were still taking place in May.
For example, tractor-trailers have limited braking capabilities. They need longer distances and more time to slow down or come to a stop than other types of vehicles do. They also have limited steering capabilities, needing large areas in order to turn. Another steering issue is that the rear of the truck does not follow the front of the truck, like in passenger vehicles. When a trucking company has failed to maintain and repair any issues with a truck’s braking or steering systems, the risk of a truck accident spikes.
Other common maintenance failures include overinflated or underinflated tires and windshield wipers that are malfunctioning. These failures by the trucking company and/or the truck driver results in more than 4,000 lives lost in fatal truck accidents each year.
In addition to the delay in the CVSA’s event, the U.S. government has also announced they are lifting the hours-of-service regulations that require truck drivers operate their vehicles no more than 11 hours in a 14-hour period. These are critical regulations that were enacted in order to prevent truck drivers from operating their vehicles when they are fatigued. Fatigued truck drivers behind the wheels of these massive vehicles too often cause horrific accidents that result in catastrophic injuries and death.
Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor-trailer crash, contact a skilled Virginia truck accident attorney to find out what your legal options may be against the at-fault party or parties responsible for the accident. Truck accidents often involve claims against multiple parties and can be more complex than other types of vehicle accident claims.
The legal team from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn has successfully represented many clients who were truck accident victims and will aggressively fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 800-752-0042 for a free case evaluation.
Our Va. personal injury firm also offers a free truck accident injury guide for accident victims. The guide covers topics such as the tactics used by truck companies to deny or reduce injury claims, common violations of trucking companies, and the difference between commercial truck insurance and other types of vehicle insurance.