Common Causes of Truck Maintenance Accidents

by | Mar 14, 2017

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires regular safety inspections and maintenance for commercial trucks. Violations result in trucking accidents and personal injury claims that require truck accident attorneys.

Safety and Maintenance Regulations

The FMCSA requires all motor carriers to perform systematic inspections, maintenance, and repairs on commercial motor vehicles to ensure safe operations. For commercial vehicles, motor carriers must maintain inspection and repair records for each vehicle. Truck drivers are required to complete a written inspection report at the end of each driving day. The report must identify the vehicle and list any deficiencies or defects that may affect operational safety. The motor carrier must then certify that those deficiencies or defects are corrected.

Common Maintenance Safety Problems

Two of the most common safety issues that cause serious trucking accidents are faulty brakes and bad tires. In Tennessee, truck accident attorneys often see serious crashes and injuries caused by large trucks unable to stop in time to avoid accidents and sudden tire blowouts.

Faulty Brakes

According to the FMCSA, faulty brakes are responsible for at least five percent of all truck accidents. Due to the weight of large commercial trucks, standards for brake safety is highly regulated by the federal government. The responsibility for maintenance falls to the truck driver, who is required to inspect the vehicle each day, as well a maintenance specialist who can check for broken or missing parts and air leaks in the brake chamber. Vehicle manufacturers are also responsible for the safety of a truck’s braking system. If a truck’s brakes can’t decelerate it at a rate proportionate to the vehicle’s size, even when maintained properly, liability for the truck maintenance accident may lie with the manufacturer.

Bad Tires

Improper air pressure, worn treads, and mismatched tires contribute to serious trucking accidents seen by truck accident attorneys. The massive weight of commercial trucks — typically 10,000 to 50,000 pounds — requires properly inflated and maintained tires to ensure safe maneuverability and even weight distribution. Improper air pressure, worn treads, and mismatched tires can compromise the safety of the truck, resulting in tire blowouts and serious accidents. Truck drivers are responsible for inspecting their tires for air leaks, tread wear, and sidewall damages. Trucking companies are required to make sure that tires meet federal requirements for tread depth and ensure that drivers do not pair bias and radial tires on the same axle.