Understanding and Preparing for Roadside Inspections

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, the condition of the truck, and the driver’s behavior.

Read the information below and ask yourself if there are actions you can take to reduce the likelihood of a roadside inspection and violations.



Roadside inspections may increase during periods of increased enforcement, such as during the annual CVSA Roadcheck campaign. A driver and employer’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) can also draw unwanted attention and trigger an inspection.


The condition of the tractor and trailer, both inside and out, can draw an inspector’s attention. Improper cargo securement, visible defects, missing placards, and a cluttered cab can trigger an inspection.


Speeding, tailgating, abrupt lane changes, and making U-turns are examples of unsafe driving behaviors that draw the attention of inspectors. Additionally, not wearing a seatbelt, a disheveled appearance, and being unable to provide required paperwork (or filling it out incorrectly) invite scrutiny.



  1. React properly to hazards.
  2. Avoid distractions.
  3. Be attentive to the road ahead.
  4. Maintain proper following distance.
  5. Observe proper speed for conditions.
  6. Maintain one lane.
  7. Yield the right of way. 


  • Conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection and fix defective items before driving.
  • Ensure all occupants are wearing proper restraints.
  • Place emergency warning signs around the vehicle within 10 minutes of stopping.
  • Keep the vehicle’s interior and exterior clean.
    Secure cargo properly.
  • Ensure the trailer has the proper placards in use if hauling hazardous materials.
  • Be polite to the inspector.
  • Be well-rested, groomed, and cleanly dressed.
  • Keep logs current and properly annotated.

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

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 or other  parties, nor does it advise insureds or other parties 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 or other parties. Legal advice should always be sought from 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.Reprinted with permission from Great West Casualty Company.


Filed Under:

Driver Safety, Drivers