Topical Tuesday: Top Safety Violations

Topical Tuesday: thoughts on trucking-related subjects by contributing writers.


Top Safety Violations

David A. Kolman, DK Communications.By David A. Kolman

In a recent industry presentation, Stephen Keppler, executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), presented the top nationwide driver and vehicle safety violations as revealed by data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Some of these are surprising.

The top driver violations were:

  1. Log form and manner.
  2. Driver’s record of duty status not current.
  3. Driver not in possession of medical certificate.
  4. Non-English speaking driver.
  5. Speeding (6 to 10 mpg over posted speed limit).
  6. Failing to use a seat belt.
  7. Over the 14-hour on-duty limit.
  8. Failing to obey traffic control device.
  9. False record of duty status.
  10. Expired medical examiners certificate.

The nationwide top 10 vehicle violations were:

  1. Operating a vehicle without the required lamps.
  2. No/defective lighting.
  3. Tires with a tread depth of less than 2/32 of an inch.
  4. Inspection/repair and maintenance of parts and accessories.
  5. Brakes out of adjustment.
  6. Oil and/or grease leak.
  7. Failing to secure brake hose.
  8. Operating a commercial motor vehicle without a periodic inspection.
  9. No/discharged fire extinguisher.
  10. Automatic brake adjuster issues.

Clearly, many of these violations could be avoided by drivers paying attention to detail and by performing proper pre- and post-vehicle safety inspections.

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada and Mexico. Its mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers.


David A. Kolman is an award-winning journalist and part-time trailer trucker who writes for a number of transportation publications – including Fleet Maintenance ( and Road King (  magazines – and organizations.

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