The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the maintenance and safety rules regarding driving a commercial vehicle. Since trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, losing control of one can lead to life-threatening accidents. If truck drivers and trucking companies fail to comply with federal regulations regarding truck maintenance, then they are much more likely to get into an accident.
Truck drivers are required to take extra precautions and make sure the tires, headlights, brakes, and steering are in proper working order before driving their vehicle. They also need to make sure to get their truck inspected at regular intervals and to ensure the cargo is loaded properly. Any truck driver who gets into an accident will require a truck accident attorney to help them minimize their legal penalties.
According to the FMCSA, commercial vehicle owners need to follow certain rules regarding their vehicle maintenance, they must:
- Regularly and systematically inspect their vehicles and have them repaired and maintained
- Ascertain the mechanical parts and any additional parts of the vehicle are in good condition
- Ensure emergency doors, exits, and push out windows are checked at least every 90 days
- Have all the required records updated and on-hand
- Comply with all roadside safety inspections
- Ensure they refrain from unsafe operations
- Carry out an annual inspection through a qualified inspector
There are many legalities that truck drives and owners are bound to. A legal professional can assist you in figuring out what rules were violated leading up to the accident to make sure you get as much compensation as possible.
If a truck driver fails to follow even one of the many rules and regulations put in place by the FMCSA regarding their truck maintenance, it will be easier to hold them accountable for negligence in court.
For instance, if an accident occurred because one of the tires blew out, and your attorney discovers in their investigation that the truck did not get any sort of inspection done in the last few months, the driver and trucking company can be found negligent for failing to ensure their vehicle was safe enough to drive on the road. In this case, a person will be able to get a settlement to cover most-if not all-of their damages because the accident was clearly the fault of the truck owner.
Truck owners are expected to have records of vehicle maintenance
Truck owners are expected to hold certain records in case a legal issue arises. They are expected to keep:
- An identification of the vehicle and the person who owns the vehicle
- A schedule showing due inspections
- Any records of repairs, inspections, and maintenance
- Records showing that emergency doors and windows were tested by a professional
Not only are drivers expected to carry these records, but they are also expected to complete a written post-trip inspection report daily, whenever they finish their trip.
If a truck driver does not follow these strict guidelines, then they have broken the law and will be questioned for their actions. Since truck accidents are very expensive to recover from, and since the damage they cause is often life-changing for those involved, the government has done everything in their power to try and minimize truck accidents as much as possible.
By putting such strict laws on the maintenance of commercial automotives, the road becomes a much safer place and the chances of an accident occurring due to mechanical failure are reduced significantly. The less a truck owner follows these maintenance laws, the more negligent they are and the more they will have to pay if they find themselves in a truck accident.