In addition to taking mandatory rest breaks to protect against truck driver fatigue, truck drivers and trucking companies must also follow a strict maintenance and inspection schedule to legally operate on the nation’s roadways. From replacing worn windshield wipers and brakes to inspecting tires, trucking companies are required under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) §396.3: “Inspection, repair, and maintenance” to routinely maintain their vehicles and ensure they are in optimal condition to protect against dangerous mechanical failures on the roadways.
Poor Vehicle Upkeep Endangers Lives
Since safely operating a massive 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer can be difficult enough on its own, any sort of malfunction on the roads can easily cause a truck driver to lose control of their vehicle and lead to devastating collisions. For example, if a truck’s headlights go out while driving at night, they may be blind to nearby hazards and motorists. Likewise, tire blowouts can cause a vehicle to tip over and strike other drivers.
The following components must all be regularly replaced and inspected:
- Tire treads
- Trailer hitches
- Cargo restraints
- Onboard electronics
Who Is Liable?
In the event that poor maintenance should lead to a truck accident, injured parties may be able to pursue legal action against multiple parties in pursuit of compensation, including the truck driver, the trucking company, and the manufacturer of any defective parts responsible for the crash. Since determining the exact liable parties will involve an examination of maintenance records, police reports, eyewitness testimonies, and black-box data, it is important that injured parties retain the services of a powerful attorney to determine the most appropriate course of action to pursue.
At Matzus Law LLC LLC, our Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer has been fighting to protect the rights of truck accident victims for more than two decades, earning numerous awards and accolades for our unmatched advocacy and results along the way. Backed by a 10.0 “Superb” Avvo Rating and numerous 5-star client testimonials, our firm has what it takes to maximize your potential settlement.