If you were to be asked “how many truck and truck drivers wouldn’t pass a basic inspection, thus rendering them ‘out-of-service,’ during a massive month-long event?,” what would be your answer? Would you say a very small percentage, like, say, two or three percent? Or would you go with a loftier number, like 10 percent? Or would you go higher still?
Ultimately, we pose this hypothetical because the way most people perceive truck safety is that it should be at the highest standard possible — and, under that assumption, it stands to reason that a very small percentage of truck drivers and trucks would fail a basic inspection.
And yet, at Roadcheck 2015 — a massive “inspection blitz” of the trucking industry which looked at 44,989 trucks under the premise of a standard ‘Level I’ inspection — a whopping 21.6 percent of vehicles had violations that deemed them “out-of-service” and another 3.6 percent of truck drivers had violations that deemed them “out-of-service.” Amazingly, these are considered record-breaking numbers: they are the lowest “out-of-service” rates since data was tracked in 1991.
Yes, a violation rate of more than one-fifth of all trucks inspected is somehow a triumph. How many more trucks would be deemed “out-of-service” if a more thorough inspection was performed? How many truck drivers would be pulled off the road if a detailed investigation was launched?
It just goes to show you that trucks are as dangerous as they seem, and that the trucking industry has a long way to go to truly become safe.
Source: Overdrive, “Hours violations, brake issues lead out-of-service orders issued during Roadcheck 2015,” Matt Cole, Oct. 6, 2015