large truck with a tire detached from the side

How Poor Maintenance Contributes to Trucking Accidents

Most Common Causes of Maintenance-Related Crashes

The safety of your vehicle should be considered one of the top priorities for any driver, especially those who are on the road for a living. However, far too many truck accidents are caused by mechanical failures, and many could have been prevented by regular maintenance and upkeep.

To better understand the prevalence of this issue, here are some common ways in which improper maintenance can contribute to the possibility of a truck crash.

Mechanical Failure

When a large truck or other commercial vehicle has some kind of mechanical failure, it can have devastating effects. Whether it's faulty brakes, transmission failure, or any other kind of issue under the hood – proper, consistent maintenance is essential for the longevity of your truck.

Likewise, inspections are expected to take place before every trip, and individual companies may choose to do so throughout the year. Several of these crash-causing issues can be preventable with sufficient inspections and maintenance, and not doing so may indicate negligence from both the driver and company.

Defective Parts

Aside from general mechanical issues, individual parts on trucks may be defective. While this could be a maintenance issue, it could very well have more to do with the individual manufacturer.

Although the trucking company is not always responsible for defective parts that cause an accident, especially considering that truck parts may be recalled, it is still their responsibility to ensure that their vehicles are in working order. This includes checking on the often overlooked parts of a vehicle that may contribute to a crash, including:

Truck Latches

Although truck latches are essential for securing cargo while in transit, the wear and tear on them is often overlooked. Inclement weather conditions, repetitive use, or even just time can cause latches to rust or slowly break down.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that truck inspections be completed at the end of every day by the driver, including filling out a form regarding any defect and its repair. If a driver fails to acknowledge that a latch or other securing device is worn down and potentially defective, it could cause a crash due to unsecured cargo, and they may be held responsible.

Tire Issues

Most people know that tires should be checked for pressure levels and wear-and-tear often, especially following long trips. However, tire blowouts remain one of the most common causes of maintenance-related truck crashes annually.

Many truck tires have a “lifespan” of three to five years, but your location, the terrain you are traveling on, and the length of trips should be accounted for when considering how often to change or service tires.

Who Could Be Held Responsible?

Holding an individual accountable for the injuries that were caused by a commercial vehicle’s mechanical issues can seem confusing. And often, more than one party may be responsible:

Trucking Company

While the driver has to assume some responsibility for the way they operate the truck, the fault of the accident may be split by both the driver and company for a mechanical issue. If the trucking company owns the truck rather than a third-party, they have a responsibility to ensure that their vehicles are properly maintained.

Mechanics

There may be some instances in which the maintenance issue falls back on a mechanic or other person who serviced the vehicle. If a part or area of the truck wasn’t adequately repaired or didn’t get properly inspected, there may be a greater issue. This is why it’s essential to routinely have commercial vehicles serviced following any trip so that you can fix these issues before they arise.

Georgia Truck Accident Attorneys

Being in a truck accident can cause life-altering injuries. When a truck driver, company, or maintenance professional is negligent in their vehicle’s upkeep, it can have severe consequences. Jamie Casino Injury Attorneys is prepared to HIT BACK at negligent individuals who endanger the roadways. Call (912) 809-5335 for a free consultation to discuss how we can help you.
 

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