Trucking companies and the drivers they employ must obey numerous federal regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA). In addition to requiring that truck drivers have specific certifications and licenses, their vehicles must also undergo routine maintenance and safety checks.
Compared to personal vehicles, trucks usually spend more time on the road and endure extensive wear and tear. When drivers or companies fail to maintain their vehicles, they are putting everyone on the road in harm’s way.
Truck maintenance negligence can take a variety of forms, including failing to conduct walkaround inspections, failing to follow the company’s own maintenance policies, and failing to conduct the annual complete inspection required by law.
When accidents occur because of a trucking company’s maintenance negligence, the company could be held financially responsible for the resulting accident. If you were injured in a truck accident caused by maintenance negligence in Texas, contact Tate Law Offices, P.C., for legal help now.
State and Federal Requirements for Truck Maintenance
When a Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) inspector performs a roadside inspection and determines that a vehicle is not in compliance with safety standards, the truck is officially considered out of service. Out-of-service commercial vehicles are barred from continuing their routes until the proper repairs are made.
Inspectors look for a wide variety of violations when inspecting a commercial vehicle, including:
- Lack of proof of routine inspections
- Unsecured fire extinguishers
- Defective windshield wipers
- Flat tires or air leakage
- Worn down tire tread depth
- Hazardous material violations
- Oil leaks
- Broken turn signals
- Damaged windshield
- Lack of required lighting and reflective fixtures
- Worn down brake hose
- Insufficient brakes
- Poorly maintained airbrake system
Twenty percent of commercial trucks inspected in 2016 were found to be in violation of FMCSA regulations. Commercial trucks are required to be inspected at least once a year. A failure to handle repairs and replacements in a timely manner could cost other drivers their lives.
Common Parts of Trucks That Can Fail If Not Properly Maintained
Near-constant wear and tear on trucks can cause damage to all of the following parts:
- Tires and tread
- Wheels and wheel rims
- Trailer and hitch mechanism
- Steering system
- Truck and trailer brakes
- Suspension parts
Damage to any of these and other truck features could easily be the cause of a devastating accident. For trucks to operate safely, trucking companies should regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles. They should not wait to fail a roadside inspection to take action.
Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers Now for Legal Help
The Dallas legal team at Tate Law Offices, P.C., understands the far-reaching impact that truck accidents can have on victims and their families. If you were injured in a truck wreck because the trucking company failed to maintain the vehicle, we are ready to speak with you about your legal options.