With the start of the new year, it is as good a time as any to make sure that your car or truck is in good repair and able to handle any emergency situation. With Florida no longer requiring annual inspections, it is now the job of law enforcement to ensure that all vehicles are in good repair and safe to drive. As one Florida state trooper noted,1 they “can’t pull everyone over … I’m looking for the big fish.” Florida law allows any police officer2 to stop any vehicle if they have reasonable cause to believe that the vehicle is unsafe or not equipped as required by law. The driver must allow the officer to conduct such inspection of the vehicle.
Obvious Safety Violations
Some of the things that officers look for is tire tread. Is there sufficient tire tread to handle driving in the heavy rains that frequent much of the state? Safety chains for someone hauling something is an obvious thing that an officer would see without asking the driver to move or open anything. Brake lights or headlights in disrepair are obvious citations and easy for an officer to find. Faulty or bad brakes should always be repaired and you should not have to be told that by a law enforcement officer.
The emissions coming from your vehicle should also be attended to, not only because it is legally required and good for the environment but because having heavy smog or smoke coming from your tailpipe could be a sign of a larger problem. The last thing you (or anyone else for that matter) needs is for your car to break down in the middle of the highway with only a narrow shoulder to pull over to. This can certainly be a major safety risk.
On a related note, officers have noted that if the drivers have their important documents together and in good repair and the inside of the vehicle is generally clean and organized, they are less likely to conduct a more thorough inspection. While inspections of commercial vehicles are far more common than personally operated vehicles, it is nonetheless critical to understand that all vehicles on the roadway can be dangerous weapons if they are not kept in proper repair.
If someone else hits you, the state of their vehicle should always be closely examined to see if negligent maintenance or repair caused the crash and your injuries.
Contact a Clearwater, Florida Auto Accident Attorney for Help Today
The attorneys of the Dolman Law Group are committed to the safety and security of Florida’s roads and highways. It is in everyone’s best interest to ensure that their vehicles are in good repair and able to handle any emergency. If you or a loved one was injured in an automobile accident, you need a law firm with the compassion and experience to understand all of the uncertainty and frustrations that come with injuries sustained in an automobile accident. The Dolman Law Group has helped thousands of victims and their families over the years recover and get back on their feet following an accident. You can contact us online here or call us at (727) 451-6900 today for your free initial consultation. We are here to help you and your loved ones get through this time.