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How do weigh stations keep the highways safer?

Weigh stations are dotted along most major highways in the nation — and open ones are a required stop for any passing truck.

Believe it or not, these weigh stations perform an important role in keeping you and others safe out there on the roads. Their purpose goes far beyond making sure that the semitrucks observe the appropriate limits on their loads.

Part of a weigh station’s major duties is checking each of the 2.3 million trucks that pass through them each year for major safety violations. While a load that’s too heavy can cause serious problems, that’s far from the only thing officials are guarding against.

Here are some of the things that officials have caught — thanks to weigh station checks:

  • Flat tires
  • Broken air springs
  • Broken leaf springs
  • Deflated air suspension
  • Broken frames

Nationally, 20.42 percent of the trucks that pass through a weigh station fail their inspection. At that point, the trucks are placed out of service and not permitted to continue until they’ve been repaired.

However, inspectors don’t just take a look at the trucks that go their stations — they also check out the drivers. A total of 4.93 truck drivers are stopped from continuing on their way for a number of different reasons. Often, that means that they fail the checks done on their licenses or qualifications or seem impaired due to fatigue or some other reason.

Weigh stations are often seen as a mystery to most drivers — and an inconvenience to reliable truckers. Now you know, however, that they play an important role in keeping the highways safe for everyone.

If you’ve been the victim of an accident with a big rig, rest assured that the trucking company will have attorneys working on their side. Make sure that you do the same in order to protect your own interests.