Why are Driver Vehicle Inspections Important?
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Why are Driver Vehicle Inspections Important?

Why are Driver Vehicle Inspections Important?

Safety is the most important and obvious reason to inspect your vehicle. A vehicle defect found during an inspection could save you problems later. You could have a breakdown on the road that will cost time and money, or even worse, a crash. In the US, Federal and state laws require inspection by the driver, and if you fail to do a pre-trip inspection, a DOT inspector can place your vehicle out of service. So why risk your life, or the life of another in an unsafe vehicle?

Pre-Trip Inspection: The first thing a driver should do when beginning a tour of duty is to review the Driver Vehicle Inspection Report from the previous day. If there were defects noted, you should verify that the DVIR has been signed by a mechanic certifying that either the defect was repaired, or the defect does not affect the safety of the vehicle and the repair was unnecessary. If the previous day’s DVIR did contain a defect, you must sign the report to indicate that you have reviewed it, and that the required certification and signature are present.

Vehicle Inspection: No truck may be driven unless the driver is satisfied that the following parts and accessories are in good working order:


  • Service brakes, including trailer brake connections
  • Parking (hand) brake
  • Steering mechanism
  • Lighting devices and reflectors
  • Tires
  • Horn
  • Windshield wipers
  • Rear vision mirrors
  • Coupling Devices
  • Wheels and Rims
  • Emergency Equipment
  • Mirror
  • Seat belts
  • Brake system (parking – beginning with 1960 models)
  • Wheel assembly
  • Exhaust system
  • Exhaust emission system (beginning with 1968 models)
  • Beam indicator (beginning with 1948 models)
  • Tail lamps (2); (1) if 1959 model or earlier
  • Stop lamps (2); (1) if 1959 model or earlier
  • License plate lamp (1)
  • Rear red reflectors (2)
  • Turn signal lamps (beginning with 1960 models)
  • Head lamps (2)
  • Motor, serial, or vehicle identification number
  • All models – inspect for window tinting or coating
  • Gas caps on vehicles 2-24 model years old.

Post-Trip Inspection: At the completion of each day’s work, the driver is required to prepare a written report identifying the vehicle and listing any defect or deficiency discovered or reported to the driver that would affect the safety of the vehicle, or result in a mechanical breakdown. The report must cover at least the parts and accessories listed above under “Vehicle Inspection.” If defects are noted by the driver, the motor carrier is required to certify on the original report that the repairs have been made, or that the defect does not affect the safe operation of the vehicle.  All DVIRS must be retained by the motor carrier for 3 months where the vehicle is stored. Always protect yourself and others by performing a thorough vehicle inspection!

The above goes to drivers of commercial cars, company cars but also applies to the everyday person with a private car as a car will always remain a car and all need proper care.

As referenced from




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