A recent analysis into the 2013 federal inspection, investigation and crash data collected on the commercial trucking industry shows that Texas is tops in the country in terms of maintenance violations. In 2013, Texas officials recorded 534,304 inspections on commercial trucks. That number ranks in the country in terms of overall inspections per lane-mile of interstate within its borders. While that number is high, it is to be expected given the size and population of the state. What stands out is the percentage of all inspection violations that were related to maintenance of the truck.
Breaking Down Inspection Violations
Texas led the nation in maintenance violations as a percentage of total violations. Maintenance violations accounted for 85.8% of the total violations handed out in Texas. The national average is just 72.6%.
Texas even ranked extremely high in the maintenance subcategories of lights, brakes and tires violations. It ranked 7th in the nation in lights violations, 13th in brakes violations and 2nd in tire violations.
Not only does Texas rank high in terms of maintenance violations per inspection, but it is also above the national average in terms of total violations per inspection – handing out 50% more violations than the national average. Texas hands out 2.9 violations per inspection while the average is just 1.6 violations.
Focusing On the Truck, Not the Trucker
What this data suggests is that the inspection policies in Texas focus primarily on the truck, not the truck driver. A look into the inspection profiles of other states reflect inspection policies that focus more on violations associated with the most common causes of truck accidents – driver behavior.
Focusing on the truck during inspections could be an underlying cause of the state's high number of fatal truck accidents. Texas is in the middle of an epidemic in terms of fatal truck accidents, but of the top ten states for truck-involved fatal crashes, only Texas and Virginia record maintenance violations over the national average.
Trucking Companies Responsible for Maintaining Vehicles
Trucking companies are responsible for keeping their vehicles properly maintained so they can be operated safely. If a truck that is involved in an accident does not pass inspection, the trucking company can be held liable for not equipping the driver with a safe vehicle. If you were involved in a commercial truck accident, it is important to hire a truck accident attorney that can fully investigate the scene of accident and the truck to determine if it had maintenance violations. Our firm has a full team of investigators ready to determine the root cause of the accident. Contact our truck accident attorneys today to learn how we can help you recover compensation for your injuries.