Long-haul trucks are can travel as many as 1,000 miles in a single day. Often, truck drivers work many consecutive days, putting thousands of miles on their vehicles in a short time and creating a significant amount of wear and tear on the truck. As a result, commercial vehicles require regular inspections and maintenance to continue to operate safely and effectively on the road. In addition to routine inspections simply being a good idea, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires drivers to closely monitor their vehicles.
Inspection and Maintenance Rules
The FMCSA mandates that trucking carriers and drivers inspect, maintain, and keep records for every vehicle they own or operate. These rules state:
- Every trucking company must routinely inspect, repair, and maintain, all vehicles in its fleet.
- Vehicle parts and accessories must be in “safe and proper operating conditions.”
- Drivers must review past inspection reports and either make appropriate repairs or acknowledge that the repairs have already been made.
- Drivers must be satisfied that the vehicle is “in safe operating condition.”
Inadequate Truck Maintenance
Unfortunately, not every trucking carrier and operator follows these rules. According to the FMCSA, some of the most frequently occurring inspection violations in 2014 could have been avoided with proper maintenance. When a trucking company lets its vehicles fall into a state of disrepair, some common dangers include:
- Tire balding and tread separation
- Non-functioning lights and signals
- Low fluid levels
- Brake pad and shoe deterioration
- Transmission failure
Each of these failures poses a distinct potential threat to the safety of those who are in the vicinity of the truck when it is on the roadway, and all of them could be prevented by regular inspection and maintenance.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a truck accident that could have been prevented by routine maintenance, you may be entitled to file a claim. Fill out our online contact form to have your questions answered by a knowledgeable member of the Morris James, LLP, legal team today.