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Commercial vehicles and the North American Standard inspection

Commercial vehicles pose a significant threat to Tennessee's motorists. A trucker may be suffering from fatigue, be intoxicated, or be inattentive behind the wheel. While these are certainly very dangerous circumstances, semi-trucks can also pose a risk if they have been improperly maintained, failed an inspection, or are being driven without being inspected. In any of these cases, a truck crash can cause serious injuries, leaving victims facing harsh physical, emotional, and financial burdens.

There are regulations in place that attempt to curb some of these risks. One such regulation, imposed by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, requires commercial vehicles and their drivers to be subjected to inspection. The North American Standard inspection assesses many things, including an individual's driver's license, the driver's record, hours of service, the vehicles brake system, all lights, tires, suspension, and the fuel and exhaust systems, amongst other pertinent items. Vehicles and drivers are only approved if there are no violations when these items are inspected.

Inspectors for this program are specially trained and are certified to conduct inspections. Their training must be approved by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and only they can approve issuance of an inspection decal.

Though this process is meant to keep other motorists safe on the road, the unfortunate reality is that a trucker or a truck company can attempt to bypass inspection altogether. This means that unsafe trucks may be roaring down the highway, mere moments from causing a serious accident. While it is true that nothing can completely protect Tennesseans from a truck crash, a successful lawsuit can help illuminate the issue and push for change. Such a claim may also bring a victim much need compensation for lost wages and medical expenses, which can help them get back on their feet and resume their normal life.

Source: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, "North American Standard Inspection Program," accessed on March 20, 2015

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