Truck drivers are expected to inspect their trucks prior to every trip, just as trucking companies are expected to regularly and systematically inspect their fleet. Routine proper inspections are vital to preempt accidents and make drivers and carriers aware of defects, or parts in disrepair, and fix them before they cause an accident.
Truck Inspection Rules
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) doesn’t specify how frequently trucking companies need to make truck inspections.
FMCSA regulations provide that the following be upheld.
- “Every motor carrier and intermodal equipment provider must systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles and intermodal equipment subject to its control.”
- “Parts and accessories shall be in safe and proper operating condition at all times.”
- “Pushout windows, emergency doors, and emergency door marking lights in buses shall be inspected at least every 90 days.”
Companies have to keep all their inspection and maintenance records for the entire time they own the vehicle and for 18 months after they’ve sold it. Drivers also have a duty to make frequent truck inspections. Rule 49 CFR § 396.13 states: “Before driving a motor vehicle, the driver shall be satisfied that the motor vehicle is in safe operating condition.”
This means that before each and every ride, drivers must make truck inspections to make sure it’s safe. These truck inspections include loads. Drivers must also stop to check their loads within the first 50 miles of the trip, and after they’ve driven for three hours or 150 miles, whichever happens first.
Need a truck accident attorney? Call Jason Schultz
If you were involved in a truck accident, you can contact our injury attorney, Jason Schultz to discuss you legal options. Contact the office at 404-474-0804 to schedule a free consultation at your convenience.