Drivers in Pennsylvania and around the country can expect to see tractor-trailers undergoing rigorous roadside inspections between June 4 and June 6 as the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducts its annual International Roadcheck safety blitz. During the 72-hour crackdown in 2018, about 12,000 semi-trucks and more than 2,500 commercial vehicle drivers were ordered out of service by inspectors for safety violations and paperwork irregularities.

In a March 25 press release, the CVSA said that inspectors will be paying particular attention to suspension and steering components during the upcoming International Roadcheck initiative. Suspension and steering systems support the loads carried by large trucks and play a crucial safety role in emergency situations. When they are poorly maintained or inadequately repaired, tire wear is accelerated and blowout accidents are more likely to occur.

Most of the trucks pulled over during the event will be subjected to strict North American Standard Level I inspections. Vehicles that pass will be issued with a window decal. Failing vehicles and drivers with incomplete or falsified logs or hours of service records will be ordered off the road. According to the CVSA, an average of about 17 commercial vehicles are inspected every minute during the three-day initiative. The most common reasons for out of service orders in 2018 were wheel, tire, and brake issues.

Truck drivers and owners are expected to take all reasonable steps to avoid accidents and protect other road users, and they may face both criminal sanctions and civil litigation when this duty of care is not met. When preparing big rig crash lawsuits, experienced personal injury attorneys could scrutinize inspection violations and hours of service records for signs of a pattern of negligence.