Any motor vehicle accident has the potential to cause serious injuries on the road. When one of the vehicles involved is a commercial truck, however, the situation becomes much more serious, due to the size and weight of the truck and the cargo that it may be hauling.
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, tens of thousands of large trucks (those that weigh over 10,000 pounds) crash on the nation’s roadways each year, and many of these accidents are caused by truck malfunctions or defects.
Common Truck Defects and Malfunctions
Because of the weight pulled and the mileage driven by the typical commercial truck, these vehicles are more likely than others to encounter mechanical problems. Routine maintenance and the regular examination of a truck can help to identify potential safety threats before they cause an accident. Trucking companies and drivers are required by law to perform inspections and make any necessary repairs before taking to the road. However, this often does not happen.
In 2014, over two million roadside inspections resulted in over 470,000 out-of-service violations. These figures represent a 20 percent out-of-service rate. The most common truck defects and malfunctions cited in roadside inspections included:
- Brake defects
- Tire defects
- Steering axle problems
- Broken lights and lamps
- Damaged windshield or windshield wipers
Truck Defects Can Lead to Serious Accidents and Injuries
In a review of over 400 trucks in their database that had been involved in crashes, officials from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) noted that one-third of the vehicles showed defects that would have put them out of service had they been inspected before the accidents.
Large trucks were involved in over 325,000 crashes in 2013. These accidents resulted in damage to property, strain on law enforcement, traffic delays, injuries, and even death. The toll on lives and the economy is great. Many of these accidents may have been avoided with the proper inspection and maintenance of vehicles.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a truck accident, you may be entitled to make a claim. Contact the experienced truck accident team at Morris James LLP today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.