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Updated: 3/28/2003 1:53 pm
Vehicle safety inspections are required by nearly half of the states in the U.S. Each state regulates its own inspection policy; therefore, safety requirements can vary depending on the state you live in. Generally, all inspection programs are designed to check basic safety components, such as steering, tires, suspension, brakes, lights, and glass. In some areas, an emissions test may also be required. Although these yearly inspections are considered a 'hassle' by most people, the benefits usually outweigh the inconvenience. In fact, the National Highway Safety Administration estimates that one out of every 43 fatal accidents is caused by vehicle problems. Many states have taken steps to reduce this ratio. Since almost all gas stations have become self-service, an attendant no longer advises you of any worn belts or tires. With annual inspections, a mechanic can give you early warning about breakdowns that may save you money in the long run. Although you pay a fee for the inspection, the automobile shop is responsible for providing a high-quality inspection at a reasonable price. If you buy a new car, the dealership usually performs the first inspection before you drive off the lot. For more information about vehicle inspections, consult a repair shop or auto professional.

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