On November 17, 2011, the Houston Chronicle published an article indicating that one out of five commercial vehicles has been pulled off the road in Texas since the beginning of this year, due to either mechanical problems or safety violations. These commercial vehicles include 18-wheelers and long-haul trucks. Statistics from the Texas Department of Public Safety show that commercial vehicles account for 15 percent of fatalities in crashes in the state. In 2006, 24 percent of inspected vehicles were pulled off the road nationwide.
Inspectors often cite safety violations when removing commercial vehicles from the road, which can include discrepancies in driving log hours. Oftentimes, logbooks do not match the actual amount of hours worked by a driver, which can exceed the safety limits set forth by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Long-haul truckers are paid by the mile, incentivizing them to work longer hours, and increasing the number of fatigued drivers on the road. Fatigue is the reason behind 30 to 40 percent of truck accidents.
Although trucking organizations cite an increase in safety precautions for long-haul trucking in the past few years, the statistics recently presented by the Texas Department of Public Safety may show otherwise. Texas is the state with the highest number of commercial vehicle-related deaths in the last four years.
See the full Houston Chronicle article at: