Roadside inspections keep dangerous trucks off the road

Truck crashes remain worryingly high, but could be even worse without physical checks out on the road. By Freddie Holmes

Manufacturers can put as much time and effort toward making a truck safe, but when it comes down to it, the truck is only as safe as its driver. This extends to not only how the truck is driven, but also how it is maintained. If not kept in good working condition, components could wear and no longer function as intended. Even with an experienced and cautious driver behind the wheel, poorly maintained trucks could be an accident waiting to happen.

Special report: Commercial vehicle safety

Whereas passenger cars might have annual checks to go over their basic mechanical condition, heavy-duty commercial vehicles (CVs) are subject to more frequent and stringent investigations. Remote analytics and predictive maintenance are helping to keep an eye on things, using software to flag possible issues. But these systems are only now becoming available, and only on the most advanced trucks. Organisations like the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), a non-profit organisation focussed on improving CV safety across North America, are putting boots on the ground to make sure trucks—and their drivers—are fit for service across the board.

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