The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has wrapped up its annual International Roadcheck, a three-day inspection spree of buses and commercial trucks. From June 5 to 7, safety organizations and law enforcement personnel across Louisiana, as in all other states, stopped drivers and conducted 37-step inspections that covered both driver- and vehicle-related issues.
While information on the 2018 Roadcheck has yet to be released, previous roadchecks reveal certain trends that the CVSA has been combating for several years. One of them is the violation of hours-of-service guidelines. Truckers might exceed the 14 duty hours allotted to them each day or violate the requirement that they rest 8 hours before beginning a shift.
Non-compliance in this area was the main focus of the 2018 Roadcheck. With the U.S. Department of Transportation mandating in 2017 that all trucks install electronic logging devices, it is now easier for inspectors to detect non-compliance.
Addressing this trend is crucial because extended hours behind the wheel can make truckers sleepy. Impairment, whether caused by fatigue, alcohol abuse, drug use or illness, led to 157 fatal truck crashes in 2016 according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA also states that during last year's International Roadcheck, there were 33,000 cases of hours-of-service violations. These were the reason behind 32 percent of the drivers being put out of service.
When fatigue contributes to a commercial vehicle accident, the trucker or the trucking company is responsible for the victim's injuries. Victims may wish to hire a lawyer before they start the process of filing an accident claim. A lawyer might gather proof of negligence, such as the trucker's work log and the police report. The lawyer may then negotiate with the trucking company's legal representatives. If they wish to avoid the courts, they may agree to a fair settlement.