Warning! Safety Violations Ahead: Motor Carrier Companies Keep Unsafe Trucks on U.S. Roads

by: Prince, Glover & Hayes Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Part III

In March 2002, married truck drivers Nelta and Tom Osborn discovered that the air brakes on their rig were compromised by a small hole caused by a hose dragging on the ground, which made the emergency brakes suddenly engage. Rather than call a mobile mechanic, the pair fixed the hole with a toothpick and electrical tape and continued driving. The dispatcher for the trucking company complimented them on their resourcefulness and for two hours they drove with the makeshift repair, passing numerous repair shops where a $12 fix would have made the hose safe again.

Just outside of Texarkana, Texas, the hose failed and the emergency brakes screeched the truck to a stop. Driving behind the truck was 23-year-old Matthew Giuliano, a newly-commissioned Army officer, who was on his way to Fort Hood for his first assignment, Giuliano, without any brake lights or flashing hazards to warn him of the impending danger, did not have time to react and slammed into the stationary truck. He was killed instantly.

Giuliano was the unfortunate victim of the largely ignored issue of truck safety. Every year, tens of thousands of people are killed or seriously injured in trucking accidents.

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