Roadside Inspections

Truck Driver sitting in the truck

Roadside inspections are a part of the trucking industry, but drivers can play a big role in determining the frequency with which they occur. Three factors that commonly trigger roadside inspections are the environment, meaning periods of increased inspections; the condition of the truck, both inside and out; and the driver’s behavior. Read the information below, and ask yourself if there are actions you can take to reduce the likelihood of drawing the attention of inspectors and prevent violations and possible fines.

Recognize the Hazards


  • Periods of increased roadside inspections
    • Company SMS results have alerts in the BASICs
    • Annual CVSA International Roadcheck campaigns


  • Improper cargo securement
  • Visible defects
    • Taillights inoperable
    • Missing placards
    • Rust on wheels
    • Damaged tires/low tread depth
    • Missing reflective tape on trailer
    • Cracked/tinted windows
    • Missing company name/DOT number
  • Audible air leaks
  • Dirty exterior
  • Cluttered interior

Personal behaviors

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Abrupt lane changes
  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Disobeying traffic signs
  • Parked on shoulder
  • Unclean appearance
  • Inability to provide required paperwork
  • Inaccurate paperwork
  • Making a U-turn

Know the Defense

Essential 7 Driving Techniques

  • React properly to hazards
    • Conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection and fix defective items before driving
  • Avoid distractions
    • Put away your cell phone while driving
  • Be attentive to the road ahead
    • Signal lane changes well in advance
  • Maintain proper following distance
    • Keep at least six seconds behind the vehicle in front of you
  • Observe proper speed for conditions
    • Reduce speed in adverse conditions
  • Maintain one lane
    • Avoid abrupt lane changes
  • Yield the right of way
    • Allow other drivers to merge when approaching lane closures

Other tips

  • Place emergency warning signs around vehicle within 10 minutes of stopping
  • Ensure trailer is placarded properly
  • Keep vehicle interior and exterior clean
  • Secure cargo properly
  • Be polite to the inspector
  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Be well-rested, groomed, and cleanly dressed
  • Keep logs current and properly annotated

Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.

The information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your safety representative, or click below to find an agent. 

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© Great West Casualty Company 2018. The material in this publication is the property of Great West Casualty Company unless otherwise noted and may not be reproduced without its written consent by any person other than a current insured of Great West Casualty Company for business purposes. Insured should attribute use as follows: “© Great West Casualty Company 2018. Used with permission by Great West Casualty Company.”

This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds, nor does it advise insureds on employment-related issues. Therefore, the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.




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