Preforming a pre-trip inspection on a truck, truck driver holding a clipboard

Commercial trucks, like any other vehicle, require regular maintenance to ensure they stay in safe working condition. While federal regulations mandate truck owners and operators to systematically maintain their fleets, some parties overlook or defer maintenance to reduce operational costs. A lack of maintenance can result in significant mechanical issues on the road. Consequently, negligent maintenance can trigger devastating accidents. Please continue reading to learn how poor truck maintenance can lead to accidents in New York and how a determined Bronx Truck Accident Lawyer can help you hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence. 

What is the purpose of the FMCSA?

Commercial vehicle accidents can result in devastating outcomes due to the significant size and weight discrepancy between trucks and passenger vehicles. In such accidents, the impact can lead to catastrophic consequences, including severe physical injuries, emotional trauma, and even fatalities. Therefore, all companies and organizations must prioritize safety and ensure the appropriate parties comply with federal regulations to mitigate the potential risks of accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a government agency responsible for regulating the trucking industry. FMCSA standards are designed to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving big rigs. Those who violate FMCSA rules will face steep penalties, including the suspension or revocation of their commercial driver’s license. As such, truck drivers must comply with FMCSA to ensure the safety of other road users. 

How Does Poor Truck Maintenance Contribute to Accidents? 

While human error is often the culprit behind truck accidents, there are instances in which a failure to check for and replace faulty parts contributes to the following mechanical issues and trucking accidents: 

  • Tire defects: Big rigs can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. As such, they require much more tire support to maintain stability and traction while navigating the roadway.  Trucking companies and operators must ensure their tires are properly inflated when carrying massive amounts of weight. After long trips, tire tread decreases. If the tires lose air or are struggling to grip the road, the driver could lose control of the vehicle. Tire blowouts are a leading cause of truck accidents. 
  • Brake failure: The braking system is one of the most critical safety features in any vehicle. Trucks with poorly maintained brake systems can deteriorate, leading to malfunctions and potential failure. When this occurs, it makes it difficult or nearly impossible for drivers to stop in time or at all, leading to road accidents, such as rear-end collisions. 
  • Faulty lighting systems: For the safe operation of a vehicle, a truck must have well-functioning lighting and signaling systems, especially during inclement weather conditions or at night. When poor maintenance leads to faulty headlights, taillights, turn signals, or brake lights, it can be much more difficult for other vehicles to perceive the intentions of a truck, leading to confusion and an increased risk of accidents. 

The above-listed are only some of the many mechanical issues that can arise due to poor truck maintenance. If you have been injured in a truck accident caused by a lack of maintenance, please don’t hesitate to contact James Newman, P.C., who can assist you in pursuing damages.