Vehicle Inspection Levels and How They May Apply to a Truck Accident

Tim Miley
Injury Lawyer, Author, & Owner of The Miley Legal Group

Truck inspections are an important part of making sure that tractor-trailers are safe for America’s roads. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires specially trained and/or certified inspectors perform truck inspections annually. There are different types of inspections which are broken down into six levels. 

Six Levels of Inspection and Their Impact in Truck Accident Cases

Level one is the North American Standard Inspection. This includes an inspection of both the driver and the truck.

The North American Standard Inspection may include inspecting the:

  • trucker’s license;
  • record-of-duty status; and
  • medical examiner’s certificate.

Inspections of the truck comprise of:

  • tail lamps;
  • tires;
  • brake system;
  • windshield wipers; and
  • other parts.

Level two is similar to level one and is referred to as Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection. It requires inspection of the items required in level one and also requires inspection of equipment that doesn’t require getting underneath the truck.

Level three is Driver-Only Inspection, which is a roadside examination pertaining to driver information such as the aforementioned, along with:

  • vehicle inspection report;
  • waiver of medical certification (if applicable);
  • hours-of-service;
  • seat belt; and
  • HM requirements (where applicable). 

Level four is Special Inspections. They typically apply to specific items and are performed on a one-time basis.

Level five is the Vehicle-Only Inspection. It includes parts required to be inspected under the North American Standard (NAS) Inspection. It can be performed at any location and doesn’t require the presence of a driver.

Level six is Enhanced NAS Inspection for Radioactive Shipments. This pertains to trucks carrying radioactive/hazardous materials.

The outcome of a truck safety inspection could significantly impact a truck accident claim. It may show a defect or problem that should have kept the truck off the road. Or it may demonstrate that a driver wasn’t qualified to operate a truck.

If you were in an accident, contact an attorney at The Miley Legal Group for legal assistance. 

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