Over the past 3 years, large truck accidents claimed the lives of an estimated 4,119 individuals, according to the IIHS. In just a few weeks, the CVSA (commercial vehicle safety alliance) will carry out a 3-day major truck inspection exercise. The international road check effort will be conducted throughout Canada, the U.S, and Mexico from 4th to 6th May. During the 72-hour long inspection, inspectors will be keen on two significant areas; lighting violation and hours of service violations.
According to FMCSA, ‘lamp inoperable’ was the leading truck violation accounting for more than 12% of all automobile violations in 2020. On top of lighting violations, the CVSA says, “Hours of service is a leading violation under North America’s driver out-of-service violation category. It accounted for an estimated 34.7% of all out-of-service conditions.” Bear in mind these violations lead to road accidents, one of the primary reasons people hire a personal injury lawyer. If you’re a commercial vehicle driver, check out these tips on how to prepare for the road check blitz.
Inspect Your Vehicle’s Braking System
Your ultimate goal as a fleet owner or commercial driver is to ensure your vehicle is in good working condition. Therefore, check for loose, missing, dysfunctional, or worn-out parts of the brake system. Also, be cautious of air leaks around your truck’s brake lines and components. Experts recommend checking the air system and ensure the air pressure level is 90-100psi. Don’t forget to check warning devices in the brake system, such as low air pressure warning gadgets and ABS malfunctioning warning devices. Inspecting your truck’s brake system will help you detect potential risks and fix them, ensuring your braking system’s integrity.
Check Fuel and Exhaust Systems
There are several conditions to look out for when it comes to fuel and car exhaust systems. Start by checking loose mounting, missing caps, and signs of oil leaks. Given the exhaust system is responsible for cooling the engine, eliminating carbon gases from the cabin, and reducing engine noise, you must inspect it regularly. Be sure to check for leaks under the cab and unsecured mounting of exhaust system components. Also, inspect for wear and tear of brake lines or hoses and electrical wiring in contact with the exhaust. Debris caused by excess carbon deposits on the clamps and seams might cause your exhaust to fail. With this in mind, inspect for dirt and clean parts of the exhaust system.
Don’t Forget About Lighting
Visual inspection is the first thing law enforcement officers carry out during roadside checks. They’ll look for scratches, dents, cleanliness, and missing lamps. According to Brian Mofford of Intelligent Imaging Systems and Drivewyze, “If the commercial vehicle is clean, it’s a sign the driver is organized. A truck that is dirty and dysfunctional will require further scrutiny.” Consider inspecting your truck’s interior and exterior before hitting the road to be on the safe side. Ensure there are no scratches or dent and that your vehicle’s lamps are mounted correctly and display the right colors.
Importance of Prioritizing Safety
It’s critical to understand that a clean inspection can lower the CVSA score. In most cases, commercial motor vehicle drivers or carriers will attempt to volunteer for truck inspections. Enforcement officials also try to work with truck drivers who have enhanced maintenance and safety efforts. In addition to inspecting your truck’s brake system, fuel and exhaust, and tires, consider installing a dashcam in your commercial vehicle. A dashcam will not only lower your premium rates but can also boost safety if you leverage it for training and tracking drivers. Since dash cams record your journey from the time you start driving, you can use the footage as evidence during a car accident claim case. Ideally, dash cams make the process of settlement calculation easy because lawyers can identify who is at fault and the amount of damage caused by an accident.
Roadside inspections highlight the importance of maintaining tires in good working conditions. According to industry experts, tire-related issues account for about half of all emergency service road calls. To ensure you don’t fail CVSA’s inspection, check the tire pressure and tread depth. You want to be sure your tires have proper inflation to avoid blowouts while driving. Maintaining the correct tire pressure also reduces wear and tear, improve stability and fuel total efficiency.
During this year’s road check inspection, enforcement officers will pay a lot of attention to lighting and hours of service. Nonetheless, they will carry out a thorough inspection on trucks and semi-trucks. To make the process straightforward, ensure your vehicle is well maintained by inspecting brakes, fuel and exhaust components, suspension, tires, and cargo securement. This step will help you detect and repair issues affecting your truck’s performance early. As a result, you won’t have to worry about hefty fines for violating maintenance rules.