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Arizona DPS and ADOT Join Forces to Improve Truck Driver Safety

In the spring of 2013, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Arizona Department of Transportation joined forces to conduct random commercial vehicle inspections over a two day period of time on the Interstate 10 in southern Arizona near the New Mexico border. These agencies pulled over and inspected 826 commercial trucks for the purpose of increasing highway safety.

The inspections revealed multiple equipment and safe loading violations, resulting in 44 vehicles taken off the road. The equipment violations included issues related to brakes, lamps, steering suspension, tires, and wheels.

The agents conducting the investigations also discovered several commercial truck drivers to be in violation of various laws, including hours-of-service regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has developed laws designed to enhance the safe operation of commercial vehicles. Such rules include limits for when and how long commercial truckers may drive- toward the end of making sure drivers stay awake and alert while driving.

The inspections conducted by the Arizona agencies resulted in 109 drivers being taken out of service for various violations. Most of the violations related to the number of hours driven.

Violations such as these can result in catastrophic injuries to innocent highway travelers. The pressures on truckers to deliver products faster coupled with the size of many commercial vehicles creates the potential for serious motor vehicle accidents.

Trucking litigation can be complex and very time-sensitive. Trucking companies and their insurers often have rapid response investigation teams at accident sites immediately upon notification of an accident. It is very important to those injured by negligent truckers to likewise conduct a prompt investigation and attempt to gather and preserve all potentially relevant information and evidence.