When a large commercial vehicle crashes on Arizona’s roadways, this accident can leave victims with many questions. Who was at fault? Could the crash have been prevented?
In some cases, truck maintenance could have prevented these catastrophic accidents, and these accidents may be more common than you think. The FMCSA reports that nearly a third of truck crashes between 2001 and 2003 involved poorly maintained vehicles. What should you know about the part that poor maintenance plays in trucking accidents?
Who is responsible for semi-truck maintenance?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), every trucking company is required to inspect its fleet and maintain the trucks in its fleet. If carriers try to cut costs by delaying maintenance or needed repairs, hiring substandard mechanics or ignoring issues altogether, the mechanical failures that result can put truckers and other drivers in danger.
In addition, drivers have a responsibility to report maintenance concerns that they see on the road and not drive a vehicle with unrepaired issues.
What accidents could poor maintenance cause?
Because truckers rely on many different mechanical systems when driving a large commercial vehicle, a failure of any part of the truck could be catastrophic. This means that poor maintenance of the cab or trailer could cause a wide variety of accidents.
Poor brake maintenance could cause the brakes to work only intermittently, or to fail entirely. Missing or cracked mirrors, cracked windshields, worn out windshield wipers and burned-out lights can all limit driver visibility and make it difficult for them to address hazards in time. Worn tires can go flat suddenly and cause a truck to become difficult to control. Worn coupling devices can cause trailers to become partially or completely uncoupled from the cab.
If a carrier failed to meet their legal responsibility and you or a loved one was harmed as a result of their negligence, you can hold them responsible for the part that poor truck maintenance had in a crash. Taking legal action could give you the financial support you need to recover after a trucking accident.