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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

Commercial Vehicle DOT Inspections

by Jared Staver in Auto Accidents

In an effort to keep roads and highways as safe as possible, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that all commercial motor vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds undergo a vehicle inspection on a yearly basis. The commercial DOT inspection will determine whether all of the parts and accessories on a commercial motor vehicle are working properly and will also evaluate the driver.

If you’ve suffered from an injury or lost a loved one in an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle, contact our highly skilled Chicago commercial vehicle accident attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.

Call us today to schedule a free consultation at (312) 236-2900.

Level One: North American Standard Inspection

The level one inspection evaluates the commercial vehicle as well as the driver and is considered the most comprehensive level of the DOT inspection. It involves checking the driver’s license, medical certificate and waiver, service hour documentation, and other crucial documents.

A thorough exam of the exhaust system, fuel system, turn signals, steering wheel, windshield wipers, wheels, rims, and seat belts on the commercial motor vehicle will be performed. In addition, the cargo will be checked to ensure it is loaded and secured properly.

Level Two: Walk Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection

Everything that is examined in the level one inspection is also examined in the level two inspection except for the parts requiring the inspector to physically get under the commercial motor vehicle.

Level Three: Driver Only Inspection

The purpose of the level three inspection is to thoroughly check the driver’s credentials. These credentials include their driver’s license, medical certificate and waiver, vehicle inspection report, hours of service documentation, seat belt usage, and hazardous materials and dangerous goods requirements. The driver will also be examined for alcohol and other drug use.

Level Four: Special Inspection

Level four inspections happen once and closely investigate a specific item. They are designed to discredit a claim that was previously made about a commercial motor vehicle.

Level Five: Vehicle-Only Inspection

The only difference between level one inspections and level five inspections is that level five inspections occur without the driver being present. Brake and fuel systems, tires, wheels, cargo securement, windshield wipers, and all of the other parts of the commercial vehicle that are examined in level one inspections are also checked during a level five inspection.

Level Six: Enhanced NAS Inspection for Radioactive Shipments

Reserved for specific radiological shipments, the level six inspection involves checking for radiological requirements, enhancements to the level one inspection, and enhanced out of service criteria. Any vehicle that passes the level six inspection receives a special nuclear decal that is valid for a single trip. It is attached at the point of origin of the shipment and removed at the point of destination.

Contact Our Chicago Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorneys

Although commercial vehicle DOT inspections improve the safety of commercial motor vehicles and their drivers, accidents that lead to serious injuries and death can still arise. If you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one in a commercial vehicle accident, our Chicago commercial vehicle accident attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. may be able to help you collect compensation for your injuries and losses.

Schedule a free consultation today at (312) 236-2900.