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How Can Inspections Prevent Commercial Truck Accidents?

Posted on in Personal Injury

Pleasanton commercial truck accident lawyer

A commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is any vehicle used to transport goods or passengers for profit. CMVs can include pickup trucks, box trucks, semi-trucks, vans, buses, taxis, and trailers. Like any other workplace, drivers of CMVs have certain safety standards to uphold. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is in charge of these inspections to ensure that all drivers are safe, whether they are the ones in the truck or another vehicle on the road. Commercial motor vehicles over 10,000 pounds are strictly regulated by DOT due to their massive size and the potential danger they can pose to other drivers. In some cases, trucking companies are responsible for performing these inspections, while in others, the DOT can inspect the vehicles themselves. A commercial motor vehicle accident can result in serious or fatal injuries

Periodic Vehicle Inspections By the Company

DOT has 13 areas that must be checked on a regular basis to ensure safety and compliance with their regulations. These inspections can and should be scheduled by the commercial motor vehicle company. The following areas must be inspected to adhere to these regulations:

  1. The brake system

  2. The coupling system

  3. The exhaust system

  4. The fuel system

  5. Light devices

  6. Safe loading

  7. The steering mechanism

  8. The suspension

  9. The frame

  10. Tires

  11. The wheels and rims

  12. Windshield glazing (The windshield should be free of cracks, discoloring, and anything else that could impact the driver’s vision.)

  13. The windshield wipers

Are CMVs Checked Randomly?

DOT recognizes six levels of inspections that can be conducted anywhere and anytime by a DOT inspector or state police officer. These various inspections look at the safety of the vehicle as well as the products being moved by the truck to look for any illegal transports. Inspections include:

  1. North American Standard (NAS) Inspection - The NAS inspection looks primarily at the driver’s documentation such as his or her license, daily log of hours, and inspection report. The inspector will also look for drugs, alcohol, or any other hazardous materials. They can also examine the vehicle’s parts and accessories.

  2. Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection - During these inspections, the DOT inspector can inspect the same areas within the NAS Inspection; however, they will refrain from checking under the commercial motor vehicle. In other words, their inspection only involves walking around the vehicle rather than looking underneath it.

  3. Driver-Only Inspection - Inspectors will refrain from checking the vehicle’s safety and will focus on verifying that the driver is able to drive legally and safely. This includes an examination of documents such as his or her driver’s license, medical card, daily hour log, driver and inspection report, driver incident history, seat belt usage, and the upholding of Hazmat requirements.

  4. Special Inspection - These inspections focus on a single part or feature of the vehicle. They are typically reserved for complaints or accusations about the vehicle. If DOT employees receive a claim about an unsafe vehicle, these inspections can validate or invalidate the complaint, making sure that the specific part is in working order.

  5. Vehicle-Only Inspection - These inspections are also similar to NAS Inspections without a close look at the driver. Inspectors can check the vehicles at any location, and the driver does not have to be present to do so.

  6. Enhanced NAS Inspection for Radioactive Shipments - This inspection looks specifically at the items being transported by the CMV. Any truck transporting highway-route controlled quantities of radioactive material must pass this type of inspection. Employees will look at the items being shipped and the procedure of the shipment.

Call a Floresville Personal Injury Lawyer

The various inspections performed by DOT are meant to keep everyone safe on the roads. However, it is not uncommon for commercial motor vehicle companies to fail to perform the proper annual inspections, putting everyone at risk and causing dangerous truck accidents on major highways and interstates. Our BCP Criminal Defense attorneys look at all inspection records and use this information to fight for those who have been injured as a result of negligent trucking companies. If you have been in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, contact our Wilson County truck accident attorneys at 830-769-1010 for a consultation. 

 

Sources:

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/dot-inspections-1361608

https://www.cvsa.org/inspections/inspections/all-inspection-levels/

https://www.industrysafe.com/blog/inspections/the-six-levels-of-dot-inspections

https://www.industrysafe.com/blog/inspections/dot-periodic-vehicle-inspection-checklist

 

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