Truck weigh stations are commonly seen on the sides of Tennessee highways. Most people just drive on by, not giving these stops a second thought. The truth is, truck weigh stations serve a valuable purpose. The work done at these stops help keep dangerous trucks off the road, which helps to prevent motor vehicle accidents.
According to a recent report, roughly 4,000 trucks pass through the westbound truck stop in Haywood every day. Every truck that stops is weighed and some are inspected by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. According to a sergeant who works at this stop, they frequently find trucks that have broken frames, broken springs, flat tires and deflated air suspensions -- among other issues. When these types of vehicles are in poor condition, that presents a significant safety risk to the general public. When a truck is deemed unsafe, the driver is not allowed to move the vehicle from the weigh station until the problem is fixed.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, one of every five commercial vehicles that are inspected at weigh stations are found to have defects and taken out of service. That means that nationally, just over 20 percent of inspected vehicles are taken out of service. In Haywood Country alone, the number of vehicles placed out of service following weigh station inspections is 21.5 percent.
As thousands of commercial vehicles operate on Tennessee roads every single day, the highway patrol cannot stop and inspect every vehicle for defects -- they do their best though. Because of their work, numerous individuals lives have likely been saved. Those who have been injured or lost loved ones in motor vehicle accidents involving commercial trucks can look into whether truck defects contributed to the collisions. If there is evidence to suggest that the trucks involved were unsafe for operation, victims or their surviving family members may be able to successfully achieve fair and full compensation for their losses by pursuing civil claims against the truck drivers and their employers.