Tens of thousands of semi-tractor trailers in Ohio and around the country were pulled over and inspected for safety violations between May 4 and May 6 during the 2021 International Roadcheck initiative. During the safety blitz, commercial vehicle inspectors ordered almost 7,000 trucks off the road because of dangerous defects and removed more than 2,000 truck drivers from service for violating Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours of service regulations, falsifying hours of service records or driving with the wrong type of driver’s license or a suspended driver’s license.
International Roadcheck is organized each year by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, which is a nonprofit group made up of industry experts and government officials. During the 2021 initiative, 3,171 tractor-trailers were taken off the road because of the lighting system and tire issues, but defective braking systems were the most common violation and accounted for more than a quarter of the out-of-service orders issued. Less than three weeks after International Roadcheck concluded, the CVSA held another safety blitz that it named Brake Safety Day. During the unannounced operation, 1,273 of the 10,091 commercial vehicles inspected in the United States, Mexico, and Canada were taken off the road because of serious brake-related safety violations.
Some road safety experts who studied the International Roadcheck results pointed out that many of the violations that led to out-of-service orders and could have caused catastrophic motor vehicle accidents would have been detected by truck drivers if they had conducted proper pre-trip inspections. This kind of inspection includes:
• Checking tires are properly inflated and have sufficient tread
• Ensuring that all lights are working
• Checking braking system air hoses for leaks
• Inspecting brake drums for damage and brake pads for wear
Truck accident lawsuits
Trucking companies that do not properly maintain their vehicles and truck drivers who ignore safety procedures to save time may be held accountable in civil court when their negligent actions cause accidents that kill or injure other road users. When they are sued, the most important pieces of evidence against them are sometimes out-of-service orders issued during safety blitzes like International Roadcheck that are used to demonstrate a pattern of negligence.