Trucking companies and semi-tractor trailer drivers in West Virginia and around the country may be wise to check that their vehicles are properly loaded before setting out between June 6 and June 8 as the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced that cargo safety will be the focus of this year's International Roadcheck safety blitz. The nonprofit group organizes the annual initiative to protect road users from unsafe trucks and buses, and the results of previous efforts indicate that federal inspectors will order thousands of dangerous commercial vehicles off the road during the 72-hour-long event.
During the International Roadcheck campaign in 2016, inspectors ordered more than 20 percent of the trucks and buses they inspected and 3.4 percent of the drivers they encountered off the road. According to the CVSA, about 15 commercial vehicles are pulled over for inspections every minute during the three-day campaign. Inspectors paid close attention to commercial vehicle braking systems a year ago, and 45.7 percent of the vehicles pulled out of service in 2016 were ordered off the roads because of brake-related violations.
This year, inspectors will be concentrating on cargo safety, and drivers can expect to receive citations if their loads are not properly secured. The CVSA says that the goal of International Roadcheck is compliance with federal trucking regulations, and the nonprofit group has produced a flyer with a list of cargo safety tips to help truck operators avoid being cited for violations and seeing their vehicles ordered out of service.
The North American Standard Level I inspections that are carried out during International Roadcheck are comprehensive, and the kind of violations they uncover can be useful to personal injury attorneys representing occupants of other vehicles who have been injured in truck accidents. Attorneys could use these records to show a pattern of negligent behavior and establish that trucking companies failed to meet their duty of care to protect road users from harm.