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How weigh stations help keep us all safe on the road

Most of us give little thought to the weigh station signs we see posted along highways here in Mississippi and in other states. However, these weigh stations help prevent tragedies by helping to ensure that the trucks traveling these routes are safe.

Of course, weigh stations are used to weigh commercial trucks and make sure that they are not carrying too heavy of a load. However, state troopers and other law enforcement officers check for more than that. They inspect trucks that pull into weigh stations for things like broken springs and frames and deflated air suspensions. Sometimes they even note that a trucker is driving with a flat tire.

One trooper in another state says they make sure that truckers aren't "violating anything on the federal level, and they're safe to be around other motorists." He says that the problems they find have to be fixed before the truck can leave the weigh station and continue on -- even if that means calling in professionals to make the repairs. He adds, "We save lives doing that."

Sometimes, the truck can't get back on the road. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), about 20 percent of large commercial vehicles that are inspected are taken out of service due to serious safety defects. Last year, some 2.3 million inspections were conducted throughout the country.

Serious truck accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, there's an equipment problem or a malfunction. Often, human error is the cause. A driver may be drowsy, distracted or under the influence. Sometimes, they're just plain careless.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash with a truck, it's essential to determine the cause and work to hold those who are at fault -- including the driver, the trucking company and (possibly) the truck manufacturer -- liable. An experienced attorney can help you seek the compensation you need and deserve after a truck crash.

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