While many truck collisions are caused by truck driver errors, others are the result of another tragic reason—lack of truck maintenance. Due to the massive size and weight of a commercial truck, proper inspections and maintenance are essential for a truck to be safe on our roads and highways. Yet, many truckers and trucking companies are so negligent that they violate federal regulations governing the inspection and upkeep of their trucks.
What Do Federal Regulations on Truck Maintenance Require?
To keep trucks safe and to prevent truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted regulations requiring the inspection and repair of trucks. Here are common rules that are violated when lack of truck maintenance causes a wreck:
- Trucking companies and their equipment providers must systematically inspect, maintain, and repair truck components. This means that the trucking company cannot just wait for its truck to break down before repairing a problem that an inspection should uncover.
- Truck drivers are required to conduct a pre-trip inspection of certain parts, such as lights, brakes, steering, tires, and transmission, to ensure that the truck is in working order and must review the post-inspection report of the last driver to be certain any maintenance or repair problems were dealt with. They must also be certain that the load is secure.
- Truck drivers must also conduct a post-trip inspection and note any repair problems or other issues on a report. The truck should not be driven until these problems are corrected.
- At the end of each day, truck drivers are also required to conduct a thorough investigation.
- Truckers are required to complete written inspection reports documenting the findings of their inspections.
- Trucks should not be driven when they are in a condition likely to result in an accident or a mechanical breakdown.
- Trucking companies must keep maintenance records for one year for its fleet or six months if the truck is no longer in their control.
Common Maintenance Issues That Lead to Truck Accidents
When truck drivers and companies fail to perform regular inspections and maintenance or ignore the results of inspections, a truck wreck can be the consequence. Common repair problems that lead to crashes include:
- Defective lights or lack of lights
- Brake failures
- Tire blowouts
- Fuel leaks
- Steering component defects
- Unsecured or improperly loaded cargo
It can be complicated to identify truck maintenance issues that caused your truck accident and to obtain the records to prove this from the trucking company. A lawyer who has handled many truck accident cases successfully is essential. To learn about our experience fighting for the rights of truck accident victims and how we can assist you, fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today.