Who is Responsible for the Maintenance of Trucks?
If you have been the victim of a serious truck accident, you may wonder who was liable for the accident and what went wrong. Nobody asks for a catastrophic accident to change their lives, but unfortunately they happen every year in the United States. What if improper maintenance caused the accident?
Common Maintenance-Related Issues
In some trucking accidents, when maintenance issues are related, certain issues are more prominent than others. Some of the most common accidents are related to brake failure, failure of a hitch, single or multiple tire blow-out, suspension failure, steering column failure, broken headlights or turn signals, increased stopping distance due to unmaintained brakes, and more. In many of these accidents, the cause is a failure to stop in time, especially when the truck is traveling at high speeds on a highway. If a maintenance-related issue causes a truck to veer into traffic, it can cause catastrophic injuries or even death!
Who is Responsible?
In many cases, the drivers of commercial vehicles will be held responsible for not properly maintaining their vehicles. The reason? Federal regulations require these drivers to perform vehicle inspections before taking them out on a trip, as well as post-trip inspects at the end of a journey to find mechanical issues. However, trucking companies have responsibilities as well. For instance, they are required by law to maintain records for the vehicles that they own, such as identification of the owner and style of the vehicle, list of inspection and maintenance records, and a record of repairs made on the vehicle. By doing an inspection, a driver is eliminating a variety of violations – and there is no set standard on how long the inspection should take, only that it should occur.
The same can be said for things that should commonly be done during a journey. For instance, drivers should stop to check the loads on their trucks before trips start, within the first 50 miles of their trip, and after the vehicle has been driven for several hours. It always pays to be safe. This is why, if you are someone who has been injured in a trucking accident, you may have questions for us – and we have answers! Call us today for more information on how we can assist you.