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Why are truckers required to perform a pre-trip inspection?

Unlike the average motorist, truckers can't simply get in their vehicles and take off for their destination. Federal law requires truckers first to perform a pre-trip inspection to ensure that their vehicles are in the best possible condition before heading out on the road.

Employers also demand that their workers perform a pre-trip inspection. They must do it both before their shift and at least once every 24 hours when they're on the road. Completing an inspection keeps both the trucker and the other motorists they share the road with safe.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) pre-trip inspections generally take 30 to 50 minutes to perform. Before they take off, truckers must check:

  • Fluid levels
  • Gauges
  • Kingpins
  • Lights
  • Ball joints
  • Shock absorbers
  • Fifth wheel
  • Clutch
  • Tire pressure

They're also required to check for leaks and record the inspection results in their logbooks.

Truck drivers are often in a hurry and may be tempted to cut corners and not perform the necessary inspections. Law enforcement officers and DOT inspectors often stop truckers for just that reason. Tractor-trailers may be rendered "out of service" if they can't produce up-to-date vehicle inspection records. A trucker could end up with a warning, fines, suspension or even revocation of their commercial drivers licenses (CDL) if inspectors discover that they didn't perform and record an inspection. They could even be taken into police custody, depending on how serious their infraction is.

You may have suffered some serious injuries in a truck accident here in Illinois. You have a right to hold a negligent trucker and their employer accountable for their actions. But, time is of the essence in personal injury case. Your Edwardsville lawyer must preserve evidence in your case. Reach out to a personal injury attorney to share more about the circumstances surrounding your crash so that they can advise you of your right to recover damages in your case.

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