An inspection blitz earlier this summer of more than 8,000 commercial vehicles by the Texas Department of Public Safety resulted in nearly 2,000 of them being placed out of service due to a wide range of violations. This is a frightening reminder of the dangers that tractor trailers pose on Texas highways, in many cases because of negligence or blatant disregard of safety regulations by truck drivers and the companies that own these big rigs.
The report in Overdrive, an online publication that covers the commercial trucking industry, states the Texas DPS inspected 8,182 commercial vehicles during the blitz and placed 1,938 of those (23.6 percent) out of service. Issues with brakes and defective vehicle lighting were two of the most common violations that led to removing these vehicles from the road.
The inspections occurred in June during Road check, an annual program operated by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Administration.
More Than 200 Drivers Also Cited
In addition to the vehicles that were taken off the road during the statewide sweep, 225 drivers also were ordered out of service for driver's licenses violations, improper logs and hours-of-service violations. Texas DPS also issued 22,346 warning during the 72-hour Road check event.
This year's results are actually worse than in 2016, when approximately 22.5 percent of inspected commercial vehicles were put out of service during Road check.
Holding Truck Companies Responsible
If nearly one-quarter of the commercial vehicles on Texas highways have violations significant enough to order them off the road, is it any wonder that serious accidents involving large trucks and buses have increased steadily? It's a sad truth in Texas and nationwide.
According to a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, total injury crashes involving large trucks or buses decreased by 33 percent from 2005 to 2009, but then increased 62 percent from 2009 through 2015. Business journalists and those who monitor the commercial trucking industry say truck drivers face increased pressure from employers to log more miles in a shorter amount of time, even if means breaking federal safety regulations.
When truck accidents occur, representatives of the companies involved often scramble to collect details and have been known to cover up facts that could lead to liability. In other cases, they may attempt to pressure injured parties to reach a quick settlement before more incriminating evidence is revealed.
It is critical to enlist the services of knowledgeable personal injury lawyers like those at The Burress Law Firm before even speaking with insurance company representatives or someone from the trucking company. A careful and prolonged investigation into all of the facts surrounding an accident with a commercial vehicle is necessary in order to hold those at fault accountable and maximize the amount recovered.