Truck Inspections Often Required by Law
Federal law requires routine inspections of commercial trucks. Unfortunately, drivers sometimes fail to comply, leading to dangerous mechanical problems. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 10 percent of large truck crashes are caused by problems with the vehicle.
Mandatory Truck Inspections
The FMCSA requires inspections to ensure trucks are safe for our nation’s roads. This safety analysis has six levels, as detailed below:
- Level I: North American Standard Inspection. This involves verification of important documents, including the trucker’s license, medical examiner’s certificate, and hours of service records. The inspector also checks the seat belts, lights, windshield wipers, fuel system, steering wheel, tires, brakes, and exhaust system.
- Level II: Walk-Around Inspection. Drivers are required to check critical vehicle components on a daily basis, including their tires, lights, steering wheel, and seat belts.
- Level III: Driver Inspection. This is a roadside examination of the driver’s information, including his vehicle inspection reports, hours of service records, and hazardous materials requirements, where applicable.
- Level IV: Special Inspection. These are one-time checks of specific items on a commercial truck.
- Level V: Vehicle Inspection. These involve checking all of the components inspected under the aforementioned Level I. The only difference is these inspections may be conducted anywhere, and without the driver present.
- Level VI: Inspection for Radioactive Shipments. This inspection pertains to trucks transporting radioactive or other hazardous materials.
Lack of routine inspections can lead to part failures resulting in severe accidents, including:
- Tire failure. Overinflated or underinflated tires may blow out at speed, causing the truck driver to lose control of his vehicle.
- Brake failure. Catastrophic brake failure might prevent the truck from stopping, or cause the driver to lose control.
- Light outages. Headlights, side lights, or tail lights failure can prevent other drivers from seeing the entire truck or trailer, leading to a serious collision.
You Need Representation
If you’ve been injured in a truck collision, your attorney will investigate whether the vehicle was properly inspected. To discuss your claim, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.