Truck Inspections: Ignoring a Pre-Trip Inspection can Lead to Catastrophic Accidents
There has been a lot of media attention on the trucking industry in the past few years. Trucking companies, who are often under scrutiny for their habit of bending the rules, are actually vying for regulations to become looser.
Of course this benefits the trucking companies, as it would be easier to avoid fines and improve profits. To some dishonest trucking companies and thoughtless drivers, saving money and a few minutes is worth risking the lives of everyone on the road.
As a truck accident attorney in St. Louis, I’ve seen the damage an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer rig can do. A person’s life can be changed in an instant if a truck accident leaves them badly burned, missing a limb, or paralyzed.
Too often, family members are left to face the legal matters and funeral expenses of a lost loved one. Emotions run high if it is revealed that someone cut corners on an inspection.
What do Truck Inspections Require?
Truckers are required to visually inspect their truck every day before getting back on the road, and verify that critical parts are in order. This can include checking the features that keep the semi-truck running smoothly, like the truck’s automatic transmission, air compressor, electrical starting system, and shift controls.
The truck inspection can also include inspecting the visibility of the 18-wheeler. While you might think they’re hard to miss, without working trailer lights, a semi-truck can be an invisible threat at night. Truckers will also check the warning stickers on the back of the truck and the horn. It’s important for other drivers to be aware the truck is on the road.
Similarly, truckers will check their own windshield wipers, and ensure that they will have a clear visibility in adverse circumstances.
Most of the time, semi-truck operators inspect their vehicle as required every single day. However, there are drivers who ignore this critical pre-trip inspection, and trucking companies have been known to look the other way.
The Importance of the Pre-Trip Inspection Report
When a truck accident attorney pursues an accident case, they will always look at the pre-trip inspection report. The personal injury lawyer will determine if an inspection took place if it was fully completed and if any defects were discovered. Sometimes, even when drivers take note of a defect, the semi-truck is driven anyway.
By cutting corners in a pre-trip inspection, or ignoring issues that are found, drivers and trucking companies put countless people at risk. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance estimates that one out of five trucks are “out of service,” meaning that they have mechanical violations that are so serious, it is illegal to drive the truck.
That’s far too many dangerous tractor-trailers to have on Missouri’s highways. If you’ve been injured in a semi-truck accident, contact an attorney at our firm for an analysis of your case. We offer free, no-obligation consultations. You don’t pay us a dime unless we win your case. That’s our risk-free fee guarantee.