About Safety Inspections For Big Rigs

Written by Greg on May 12, 2017

Trucking companies are obligated to submit to safety reviews. These reviews occur on two different levels. They include vehicle safety reviews as well as safety reviews of drivers.

Approximately 20% of commercial trucks end up being identified as having serious safety issues that require their immediate removal from roadways until the problems are corrected. Drivers can also be pulled from driving. The rate at which drivers are removed from driving occurs at a lower rate than exists with trucks.

The Safety Review Process for Trucking Companies

Truck companies face some different types of safety reviews and inspections annually. State and federal law govern the parameters of safety reviews and inspections. Generally speaking, inspections come both on a scheduled on a more random basis. One course of inspections focus on the rigs, the other on drivers.

Commercial trucking industry analysts maintain that there exist many gaps in the existing system designed to inspect and maintain the safety of trucks. With one-fifth of semi-trucks being deemed unsafe and removed from the road, people are at risk every time they share a roadway with a big rig.

The number of commercial trucks operating on U.S. roadways has been increasing at a fast rate each year over the past decade. The increase in tractor-trailers has resulted in the safety inspection and review process being understaffed.

The U.S. Department of Transportation SAFER Program

Big rigs are responsible for a considerable number of accidents that result in fatal and serious injuries. One way the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) believes trucking companies can be made more responsive to safety considerations is making safety records of these companies available to the public, in some cases.

Some of the information is only available to specifically authorized individuals, including law enforcement personnel. The DOT developed the SAFER program to address this need to disseminate certain information.

SAFER stands for Safe and Fitness Electronic Records system. SAFER maintains data on a particular trucking company’s history and safety records. SAFER specifically includes information about inspections, accidents, and the overall safety and fitness score of a particular trucking company.

The system is designed to be kept up-to-date. General information about a trucking company, called a company snapshot, is updated daily, with two exceptions.

Information about a trucking company’s inspection and accident records are updated one a week. Safety scores, known as SAFESTAT scores, are updated in the SAFER system once a month.

Trucking accident attorneys frequently look at a companies safety track record of when investigating a big rig accident.


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