Truck Maintenance Safety Regulations
Regular maintenance is a critical factor in keeping large trucks safe to drive
Large commercial trucks present entirely different mechanical needs than do passenger vehicles. While cars and trucks built for personal use can go for months between close inspection and remain safe on the road, tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks must undergo maintenance inspections daily. When these inspections are skipped, human lives are put at risk.
Delinquent truck maintenance can lead to serious truck accidents. Careless or penny-pinching actions by carrier companies, such as skipping maintenance checks or ignoring problems discovered during these inspections, can have costly ramifications for accident victims.
Get justice after a Florida tractor-trailer accident
When shipping companies put your life in jeopardy all for the sake of saving maintenance costs, you deserve to be angry. When these cost-cutting measures result in an accident, you deserve justice.
The Florida truck accident attorneys at Meldon Law have helped hundreds of injured drivers get compensation after serious accidents have left them hurt and in debt. Let our compassionate and driven team of attorneys take on the fight with insurers and trucking companies so that you can focus on recovering. Contact us as soon as possible after a major truck accident in Florida.
Large trucks are involved in hundreds of thousands of accidents each year
Each year, large commercial trucks are involved in hundreds of thousands of accidents on US roads. On average, between 60 and 70% occur on rural roads or surface streets, with the remainder occurring on highways. When large truck accidents are fatal, the truck drivers are rarely the victims. On average, about 65% to 70% of all fatalities in a crash involving a big rig or tractor-trailer were people traveling in a passenger vehicle at the time of the crash, and roughly 14% were either pedestrians or bicyclists. In only in 15% to 18% of crashes was the driver of the commercial truck killed in a multi-vehicle accident.
The reasons for these truck accidents? Speeding, following too closely, loss of control while steering evasively, distraction, and driver fatigue rank among the most common reasons for large truck crashes. Underlying these reasons, however, are mechanical issues in trucks. According to a large-scale commercial truck study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), brake issues played a role in 27% of all serious truck accidents. In another 3% of accidents, the trucks involved had tire problems.
Federally mandated maintenance may go ignored or get done poorly
Regular maintenance on large trucks is far more important than on other vehicles. This is due to the number of miles driven by large trucks and the weight of cargo that these trucks carry. The fact is that a mechanical failure in a large truck has rippling consequences that simply aren’t as catastrophic as those stemming from a mechanical failure in a passenger vehicle.
For example, should a sedan experience a tire blowout, the driver is likelier than not to be able to regain control of the car and pull over safely. Should a semi-truck carrying forty tons of cargo experience a blowout, there is a far greater chance that the driver will lose control of the vehicle and that the 70-foot-long truck might strike one or more additional drivers in the process.
The FMCSA mandates that commercial truck drivers keep a maintenance log to be completed and submitted on a daily basis. This law is intended to ensure that critical truck components such as tires, brakes, fluids, and hitches receive regular attention from a professional truck mechanic.
Unfortunately, these daily checks are not always performed adequately, if at all. When issues arise that require attention by the shipping company operating the truck, they might get ignored or postponed until they become more severe. If large-truck mechanics do not perform maintenance or repairs safely, then accidents can still happen despite carrier companies’ best efforts.
When does poor maintenance result in accidents?
- Worn tires: Without a sufficient amount of tread, tractor-trailer tires can make it difficult for drivers to maintain control of their trucks. These tires can be costly to replace, causing some carrier companies to put off these repairs until it’s too late.
- Bad or worn brakes: Tractor-trailers require nearly twice the distance to come to a complete stop as do passenger vehicles, even when their brakes are in perfect condition. When brakes are worn or damaged, this distance can increase even more, making it impossible to stop in time to avoid a collision.
- Failure to maintain or replace lights: The headlights, tail lights, and lights along the sides of trailers are critical to making large trucks visible at night. When these lights are allowed to burn out, cars might not be able to see slower-moving trucks on highways and can collide with them.
Get the Help You Need After a Severe Truck Accident in Florida
If you need help getting the money you’re owed after an accident in Florida with a poorly maintained truck, get effective legal help from leading truck accident personal injury attorneys by contacting Meldon Law for a consultation.