NEW YORK – Millions of trucks crisscross the country every day, hauling billions of tons in goods and vital fuels coming from factories, mines, warehouses, and farms. These trucks often weigh up to 80,000 pounds, more than 20 times the typical weight of a passenger vehicle. Inherently, trucks are very dangerous and federal regulations restrict a trucker’s driving time, load size, and on-board equipment.
A west-coast publication took a deeper look into some of these regulations and found only a portion of the trucks on the roads are inspected. Of more than 433,000 vehicles, only 3,800 were inspected at weigh station on a major U.S. interstate.
Brooklyn truck accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say some of the trucks driving today shouldn’t even be on the road.
“Most drivers are careful about safety and the maintenance of their vehicles but others cut corners and that can put lives at risk in Brooklyn,” truck accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “If a truck isn’t up to code, that driver or the truck company could be held liable for an accident and our attorneys will do everything they can to get our clients the best results possible.”
According to Department of Transportation statistics, 24 percent of big trucks and 7 percent of their drivers should not have been on the road last year. Attorneys say that adds up to one in five vehicles failing inspections.
Trucking industry advocates say the numbers may be inflated because inspectors target problem-prone vehicles and trucking companies. However, lawyers say any truck not passing inspection is a red flag.
“Truck drivers and their companies have a huge responsibility to safety,” Barnes said. “They are in charge of operating a 40 ton vehicle along a crowded freeway packed with cars and SUVs that could be crushed due to a malfunctioning truck or a driver who hasn’t had enough rest.”
The American Trucking Associations said violations don’t typically cause crashes and some trucking advocates are pushing for more traffic law enforcement over inspections.
Attorneys, on the other hand, say inspections play a vital role in keeping America’s roads and highways safe. Lawyers say brakes are among the most common violations truckers are cited for; and with a truck weighing 20-30 times more than a passenger car, it’s arguably the most important piece of equipment on a tractor-trailer.