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How Improper or Incomplete Semi-Truck Maintenance Endangers the Public

Semi TruckAnyone who owns or otherwise operates a motor vehicle has a responsibility to maintain the car to protect not only himself or herself but also the general public. Routine maintenance combined with the biennial emissions check required by California are typically sufficient to enable drivers to identify a minor problem before it becomes a significant situation that could result in an accident.

However, most drivers do not drive the distances or the hours required by the commercial trucking industry. Semi-trucks have many moving parts that need frequent monitoring, maintenance, and repair; therefore, if any one part should fail, these vehicles are two times more likely to become involved in a serious truck accident.

Recommended and Required Maintenance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the maintenance and repair schedule for the commercial trucking industry. According to the FMCSA, all motor carriers must systematically inspect and repair any vehicle in their control, as well as maintain data logs and maintenance records. If any rig is in violation and becomes involved in an accident, the commercial motor carrier can be held liable for paying significant financial damages to the injured parties.

As a general rule of thumb, the following details should be checked regularly or before every trip:

  • Fuel systems;
  • Lights and turn signals;
  • Fuel systems;
  • Trailer control systems;
  • Reflectors;
  • Windshield wipers;
  • Tire conditions;
  • Suspension;
  • Brakes; and
  • Fluids.
Scheduling and Cost Conflicts

Just like any other company, truckers are in the business of making money. Typically, a company, truck driver, or owner prefer to spend as much time on the road as possible and as little money as possible for the overhead costs, such as maintenance. This profit-driven thought process often overpowers safety concerns, which negligently puts the general public at risk.

How an Attorney Will Help

A commercial truck accident is not the same as an accident with another everyday driver. First, a truck driver will not admit to fault. Next, a company representative and their insurer often arrive at the scene of the accident to gain control of the situation and the evidence. If an injured party is unrepresented, the trucking company may misplace or destroy any evidence potentially holding him or her accountable. A California truck accident injury attorney will demand all of the evidence be saved, enabling industry experts to obtain and review data logs and maintenance records. After careful analysis, the responsible party or parties will be held accountable for the accumulating costs of the injury. Ask the attorneys at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P how we can help you today by calling (408) 289-1417 to schedule your free, no-obligation case review.

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