Even as many new big-rig trucks now come with safety features, factors like trucker fatigue and safety defects continue to persist, contributing to many truck accidents every year. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently conducted a truck safety study and found that two major factors contribute to truck accidents. Safety defects in trucks and extended driver work hours continue to be contributors to many trucking accidents every year and as a result, in 2015, there were a total of 3,815 trucking accident fatalities across the United States.
In the study, researchers found that approximately 75% of the trucks that had been involved in accidents had defects that only came to light during inspections conducted after the accident had occurred. Truck defects that were serious enough to qualify as “out- of -service” violations were more than four times as likely to be involved in an accident as compared to trucks that did not contain such defects. Examples of “out- of- service” violations include malfunctioning brakes, worn-out tires, and damaged headlights.
However, all kinds of vehicle defects increase the risk of an accident but brake violations were found to be some of the most dangerous increasing tractor-trailer crash risk by as much as three times.