When you hear about a truck accident in New York, you probably think that a negligent driver may have caused the accident. However, it is just as likely that a truck accident could be the result of a broken part or system on the truck that could have been discovered if the truck was receiving proper maintenance.
No vehicle should be driven without being well-maintained and having mechanical problems repaired. Truck inspections, maintenance, and repairs are so important that federal regulations mandate them. Unfortunately, many trucking companies and truckers fail to properly follow these federal rules, which can result in tragic accidents involving serious injury or death.
Required Truck Maintenance Under Federal Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has put together detailed regulations regarding truck inspections, maintenance, and repairs that all drivers and trucking companies must follow. It is required that all truckers and trucking companies be familiar with these regulations. Trucking companies and drivers are required to
- “systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained” all trucks within their control. This is to ensure that all parts and components are in good working order and safe.
- Ensure that a truck is not put on the road if it is in a condition that is likely to cause an accident or a breakdown of the truck
- Make sure to make any truck in a condition that is likely to cause an accident, or a breakdown of the truck with an “out of service” sticker
- Not operate a truck with an “out of service” sticker on it until all repairs have been completed
- Perform a pre-trip inspection of the truck to ensure that it is in a safe condition and that the load is secure
- Complete an inspection of the truck at the end of every day’s work and prepare a written report documenting any defect or deficiency
Trucking companies are required to keep records regarding any truck that it owns, leases, or operates. These records should include information about any inspections or maintenance performed.
The FMCSA regulations mandate what the trucker must inspect on a daily basis. This includes
- Steering mechanism
- Lights and reflectors
- Windshield wipers
- Coupling equipment
- Wheels and rims
- Emergency equipment
What Can Go Wrong
If a truck is not properly maintained or inspected, problems with the truck can lead to a serious accident. Improper maintenance and inspection can lead to
- Problems with the brake system
- Worn tires
- Faulty turn signals
- Problems with brake lights and headlights
Any of these issues can lead to a serious, and maybe even deadly, accident.
Contact an Experienced New York Truck Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, there may be more than one party liable for your injury. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience representing New Yorkers who have been injured in truck accidents. Schedule a free consultation with us, and we will thoroughly investigate your claim to determine who may be at fault. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MED-LAW1. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.