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Will Fewer Truck Inspections in Illinois Impact Safety?

Written by Ankin Law Office

According to a new state law that took effect January 1, 2018, trucks that operate solely in Illinois will now only be required to undergo one yearly state safety inspection instead of two, and although annual safety inspections will be reduced, safety officials do not expect an impact on trucking safety. The new state inspection law will conform to existing federal standards and save money and time for truckers.

New Illinois Safety Regulations for Trucks

According to the Mid-West Truckers Association, the new law is warranted, because many Illinois trucks remain parked for much of the year. Under current federal safety regulations, trucks that are on the road for 12 months each year are only required to have one yearly inspection. Trucks used by farmers to haul grain during the fall harvest season are only on the roads for three or four months and don’t need to be inspected twice a year. Although annual safety inspections will be reduced, all trucks are still subject to spot inspections for safety violations by Illinois law enforcement at any time.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires regular safety inspections and maintenance for all commercial trucks to ensure safety on the road. Drivers of commercial trucks are required to keep inspection and repair records on vehicles. Records must list all defects found in inspections that may impact operational safety. Truckers must fix defects and deficiencies and keep accurate records of repairs.

Two of the most common safety issues that lead to trucking accidents seen by an Illinois truck accident lawyer are bad tires and faulty brakes.

  • Bad Tires – Mismatched tires, worn tire treads, and improper air pressure contribute to many serious trucking accidents every year. Commercial trucks can weigh up to 50,000 pounds when fully loaded, so good tires are essential to ensure safe truck operation and even weight distribution on the road.
  • Faulty Brakes – According to the FMCSA, faulty braking systems cause at least five percent of trucking accidents each year. Truck drivers and truck manufacturers are responsible for regular brake inspections to check for broken parts and leaks that can cause accidents.