When you think of the causes of a truck accident anywhere on the road, you probably think that the accident was caused by driver error. However, it is also likely that a truck accident could be the result of a faulty part on the truck and the vehicle itself and that could have been discovered if the truck was receiving the proper maintenance.
No vehicle should be driven without being well-maintained and having any mechanical problems repaired under any circumstances. Truck inspections, maintenance, and repairs are so important that federal regulations mandate them because of the severity that any accidents surrounding trucks that can happen. Unfortunately, many trucking companies and truckers fail to properly follow these federal rules, which can result in tragic accidents involving serious injury or death, and it’s important to inform your personal injury attorney under such situations.
Required Truck Maintenance under Federal Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has put together detailed regulations regarding truck inspections, maintenance, and repairs that all drivers and trucking that companies are bound to follow. It is required that all truckers and trucking companies be familiar with these regulations. Trucking companies and drivers are required to “systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained” all trucks within their control. This is to ensure that all parts and components are in good working order and safe, as confirmed by attorneys at EIDabe Ritters Trial Lawyers.
- Ensure that a truck is not put on the road if it is in a condition that is likely to cause an accident or a breakdown of the truck in any way
- Make sure that any truck in a condition that is likely to cause an accident, or a breakdown of the truck be marked with an “out of service” sticker, if any signs of damage is noticed
- Not to operate a truck with an “out of service” sticker on it until all repairs have been completed on it
- Perform pre-trip inspection of the truck to ensure that it is in a safe condition and that the load is secure in every way
- Complete inspection of the truck at the end of every day’s work and prepare a written report documenting any defect or deficiency if any are found
Trucking companies are always required to keep records regarding any truck that it owns, leases, or operates. These records should include information about any inspections or maintenance performed, as it is important.
What Should Be Inspected?
The FMCSA regulations mandate what the trucker must inspect on a daily basis. This includes:
- All brakes
- Steering mechanism
- Lights and reflectors
- Windshield wipers
- Coupling equipment
- Wheels and rims
- Emergency equipment
What Can Go Wrong?
If a truck is not properly maintained or inspected, problems with the truck can lead to a serious accident. Improper maintenance and inspection can lead to:
- Problems with the brake system
- Worn tires
- Faulty turn signals
- Problems with brake lights and headlights
- Any of these issues can lead to a serious, and maybe even deadly, accident.