Did you know that in 2016, there were 8,746,518 single-unit trucks, or straight trucks, and 2,752,043 tractor-trailers trucks registered in the U.S? With a majority of those vehicles out sharing the roadway, it is essential to the drivers and the commuting public that they are inspected regularly to ensure the operator is following all the rules and regulations that apply to them and that the vehicle being used is in safe working condition. That is why state and federal inspectors conduct inspections to help identify any issues and get them resolved.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), “state inspectors conduct approximately 95 percent of inspections, with the remainder conducted by federal inspectors.” These inspections determine whether the operator and/ or the CMV (commercial motor vehicle) is in compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) or the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs).” When an inspector determines that a driver or their vehicle is in serious violation of the regulations, they will issue a vehicle or driver an out-of-service (OOS) order. In order for the driver and/or the vehicle to return to service, they must correct the violation.
When trucking companies fail to do so and allow their trucks to continue with operations, they put their truckers’ lives and those traveling around them at risk.
The FMCSA highlighted in their 2018 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics that in 2017, there were a total of 3,339,974 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver inspections conducted by both state and federal inspectors and among those 171,052 received an OOS violation. During that same year, 2,378,400 vehicle inspections were completed and as a result, 493,198 received an OOS violation. The FMCSA reported that 199,742 inspections were also conducted on vehicles that were responsible for transporting hazardous materials, and of those, 7,930 received an OOS violation.
While these inspections can’t prevent trucking companies from violating the rules and regulations they are required to abide by, they do help identify violators and require them to fix the discrepancies before they are legally permitted to get back out on the road.
Now, the reason why it is essential for state and federal inspectors to weed out these drivers and defective vehicles during inspections is because driver errors as well as defective vehicles that continue to be used only increase the chances of an accident occurring. And the truth is, a motor vehicle wreck that involves a large truck is usually much more severe than most other automobile accidents as they tend to result in thousands of dollars in property damage and irreparable injuries to the victims involved.
How often are inspections conducted?
It all depends on the type of truck used as well as if it is being used for intrastate or interstate commerce. While some trucks must be inspected on an annual basis, others must be checked on a periodic basis. In some instances, companies are even able to use a third-party company to inspect their vehicles rather than have a state or federal regulator come out and conduct the inspection. Aside from having these inspections done, truck drivers, as well as the companies in which they work for, are also required to conduct their own checks before and after trips. This helps to identify any issues with the vehicles being used and prevent a hazardous or defective truck from going out on the road.
What happens when an individual is involved in a truck accident with a driver who was not complying with state/federal regulations?
If you are the victim of a truck crash that transpired in Louisiana with a driver who either wasn’t in compliance with state or federal laws or whose vehicle should have been placed out of service but wasn’t, you need to speak with an Alexandria, LA truck accident lawyer. Truck crash attorney Davey Jones can help you determine whether you are permitted to file a personal injury lawsuit against the operator and/or the trucking company and how much you are entitled to demand in damages.
The Jones Law Firm has helped many victims and their surviving family seek justice against negligent or careless truckers and trucking companies and is ready and available to help you too.
The Jones Law Firm can be reached at:
1330 Jackson Street
Alexandria, LA 71301