Safety, functionality of truck can play role in accidents

Far too often, the headlines in the Boston area talk about a major semi truck accident that injured or killed innocent people. Sometimes the truck accident is truly that — an accident. But sometimes the crash is due to negligence on the part of the truck driver. Maybe the driver was tired or intoxicated; maybe the driver failed to observe road laws or signage specific to trucks; or maybe the driver just made a bad driving decision, resulting in a costly accident.

In any case, the truck driver usually takes a lot of heat in the wake of an accident, and it is usually in relation to the driver’s performance behind the wheel. But sometimes a truck accident can arise for another reason: an unsafe or inadequate vehicle.

Again, just like with a truck driver’s fault in an accident, an unsafe semi truck can occur for a variety of reasons. The truck company could be at fault for ignoring truck maintenance regulations; the truck driver could be at fault for failing to perform a proper pre-trip inspection of his or her vehicle; or the truck could fail due to cheap or insufficient maintenance work. When a truck mechanically breaks down, it can have a catastrophic effect on traffic. A crash is likely.

That’s why it’s not hard to imagine that the numbers revealed in a recent truck safety crackdown in Canada would be similar to those in the U.S. The crackdown, which spanned two days, forced a safety inspection on 403 trucks. After the inspections, Canadian police discovered that almost 40 percent of the trucks (157 out of 403) failed.

Source: Global News, “Police say 249 charges laid during truck safety blitz,” Oct. 19, 2013