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How often are trucks inspected?

Medium and heavy-duty trucks, semi-trucks and utility trailers, use the roads of Pennsylvania to carry and transport goods throughout the year. Because of the size of trucks and their potential ability to develop problems, large trucks are subjected to inspections.

inspecting truck

How often are truck inspections performed?

All large trucks and semi-trailers must be inspected once yearly to be in compliance with Pennsylvania laws. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration section 396.17, federal law also requires that all commercial vehicles undergo an annual inspection. If a vehicle fails an inspection, it is not allowed to operate until the cause of the failure is corrected.

What things are inspected on a truck?

The inspection requirements for medium and heavy-duty trucks vs. semi-trucks and utility trailers are slightly different. For the former, the things that are required to be inspected include the items listed below.

  • Suspension components
  • Steering and braking systems
  • Tires and wheels
  • Electrical and lighting systems
  • Fuel systems
  • Wipers and windshield washers
  • Defrosters
  • Glass
  • Mirrors
  • Odometer and speedometer
  • Horns and warning devices
  • Exhaust systems
  • Body of the truck
  • Chassis

On semi-trucks and utility trailers, the following components of a truck must be inspected, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles.

  • Braking systems
  • Suspension components
  • Tires and wheels
  • Lighting and electrical systems
  • Glazing
  • Truck body
  • Chassis

What happens if a truck fails inspections?

It is not uncommon for a large truck or commercial vehicle to fail inspections. If failure of inspections occurs, then the reason for the failure must be corrected. If the owner of the commercial vehicle fails to have the component that caused the failure corrected, and to then pursue a re-inspection, the trucking company or owner may be subjected to a fine.

Infographic showcasing heavy truck accidents involving vehicle failures in Pennsylvania

Who’s at fault in an accident caused by a problem with a large truck?

When a large truck causes an accident that results in severe injuries for other drivers or passengers involved, the issue of liability for the truck accident is brought into question. Negligence is often considered in order to prove liability.Negligence refers to the inappropriate or irresponsible actions of the person at fault for the accident.

Oftentimes, driver errors are the cause of an accident.

  • Distraction (on a cell phone, texting, eating)
  • Intoxication (alcohol, illicit drugs, and over-the-counter meds)
  • Aggression (speeding, tailgating)
  • Fatigue

In cases such as these, the driver (or the trucking company) may be liable. In the case that the accident was caused by a defective vehicle part that was improperly inspected, the company who failed to administer an inspection appropriately may be liable. If the trucking company failed to pursue an inspection, this may be considered negligent behavior that directly contributed to the accident.

Do I need an attorney following an accident involving a large truck?

If you or a loved one has been in an accident that involved a large truck, you may be wondering whether or not you need legal help.

If the accident resulted in injuries, an attorney can be essential in helping you recover the damages you deserve for your or your family member.

  • Injuries
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

If a family member was killed in a truck accident caused by someone else’s negligence, an attorney can help you recover wrongful death benefits.

At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our attorneys understand how much a truck accident can affect your physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing. If you think that someone else’s negligence caused your truck accident, our attorneys can help you prove negligence and liability. Call us today at 215-642-2335 to speak with one of our attorneys now, and get started on proving negligence and determining liability today.

Written By Michael L. Saile, Jr.
Written By Michael L. Saile, Jr.

Managing Attorney at Cordisco & Saile

Serving as a personal injury attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Michael has been honored as both a Brain Injury Top 25 Lawyer by National Trial Lawyers and a 2024 Super Lawyer. He earned his J. D. at Widener University School of Law where he was a member of the Moe Levine Trial Advocacy Honor Society. Saile is also the author of two publications titled “Not Another Bad Lawyer” and “Don’t Crash Again”.