Better Pre-Trip Inspections for Trucks Equals Safer Roads

In a presentation to the Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Association, Kerri Wirachowsky highlighted that while approximately 99% of the pre-trip inspection reports that she sees contain no error-reports, she puts about 30% of trucks out-of-service as a roadside inspection officer.

Safety Violations by the Numbers

In her talk to the Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Association, Wirachowsky detailed the numbers and types of violations given to truck drivers and trucking companies in 2014.

  • 823,000 combined brake, turn signal and taillight violations;
  • 545,000 clearance light violations;
  • 194,000 brake-adjusting issue violations;
  • 65,000 auto slack brake-adjustment violations;
  • and 50,000 anti-lock braking systems violations.

Following CSA Safety Measurement System: A Focus On Safety

Better Pre-Trip Truck Inspections Equals Safer Roads
Better Pre-Trip Truck Inspections Equals Safer Roads

According a news report by Eric Miller, a staff reporter for Transport Topics, many truck drivers and trucking companies are working to improve their CSA scores (compliance, safety, accountability) by conducting more thorough pre-trip inspections. These more attentive pre-trip inspections is likely to catch violations before the big trucks hit the road, allowing those trucks to be properly serviced or repaired.

By working to reduce the number of faulty tractor-trailers hitting the road, the trucking industry can take a big step forwards towards improved road safety and reducing the number of personal injury cases caused by big trucks.

Concerned by Changes to Pre-Trip Inspections Reporting

Earlier this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration eliminated the need for truck drivers and trucking companies to file safety reports if they find no faults on their trucks. What concerns me is reflected in Kerri Wirachowsky’s statement at the start of this post: how is it possible that so many pre-trip inspection reports document no errors, and yet Wirachowsky was routine placing 30% of trucks out-of-service for faults that should be have been caught?  Surely Wirachowsky’s experience is a clear sign that the FMCSA needs to revisit its decision to remove the filing requirements around Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports.

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