The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Alliance (CMVSA) held  its Roadcheck 2011 event in June this year. This event asks for all states to inspect trucks on the road. Less than 1% of trucks are inspected. By announcing the inspections 4 months in advance, the CMVSA gives drivers and trucking companies four months to prepare, or if the problems are serious enough, to simply stay off the road for a few days.

Despite the huge publicity of the inspections in the trucking industry, the 3 day inspection in 2011 found almost 20% of the inspected vehicles and drivers failed a Level 1 inspection. The fact that truck drivers are on the road in an unsafe condition, knowing that this special inspection will be run, shows how drivers believe the chances of being inspected are so rare that they believe they won’t be caught, or that they are so ill trained that they think they are safe.

Nationwide data show that in 2010, log book violations (logs are designed to keep tired drivers off the road) were the most common reasons for drivers being placed out-of-service at 29.5 percent of driver out-of-service violations. The most frequent out-of-service item for trucks was unsafe brakes comprising 25.5 percent of all vehicle out-of-service violations.

Thus the real danger: tired truckers, driving trucks with bad brakes, who don’t realize they are falling asleep until it is too late and who cant stop when they realize what is going on.