Each year, thousands of people are injured or killed in semi-truck accidents throughout the U.S. While these wrecks can occur due to distracted driving, operator fatigue, or driving under the influence, one of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents is defective parts on the truck itself.
A recent state study of the possible correlation between defective mechanical parts and trucking accidents found that there was a greater chance of a large truck accident if the
vehicle had substandard or poorly maintained mechanical parts.
A second study concluded that a semi or other large commercial vehicle is 1.8 times more likely to cause an accident if it has poor or improperly-maintained brakes. The consequences of any vehicular accident can be devastating, but failing brakes on a semi-truck can be catastrophic.
Among the many duties that truck drivers are required to perform, they are obligated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to conduct regular inspections of their vehicles every time they leave for a destination. However, if a truck driver fails to conduct an inspection or neglects to request or perform the maintenance necessary to address a problem revealed in the inspection, he or she may be held accountable for the injuries or damages that occur should the problem cause an accident.
Common Negligent Truck Maintenance Problems:
- Failure to conduct walk-around and pre-trip inspections to identify critical safety issues
- Failure to test load restraints
- Failure to replace burned bulbs and clean reflective tape
- Failure to inspect brakes
- Failure to change tires at prescribed intervals
- Use of retreaded tires
When additional strain from overloading is placed upon truck mechanisms that are weakened or defective such as steering or brakes, drivers may be unable to stop or may find it difficult to control the vehicle. Additionally, these maintenance issues can be compounded if the semi-truck is traveling on a highway under construction or on a defective roadway. While poor truck maintenance can cause serious accidents, a semi-truck crash on a poorly-maintained road can be a deadly combination.
Many of the semi-truck accidents that occur in the U.S. each year could have been prevented but for the lack of maintenance on the commercial vehicle. Many times, the independent truck driver or the trucking company itself will cut corners and forego proper truck maintenance in an attempt to save money. However, this negligent behavior is inexcusable and is at the root of many of the severe semi-truck accidents that occur on a daily basis throughout the country.
Who Is Responsible?
The truck driver will be most likely to be held liable should his or her failure to conduct an inspection result in an accident. However, those who have allegedly sustained injuries may also be entitled to pursue claims against other parties.
For instance, many trucking companies are responsible for the actions of their drivers or the manufacturer of an allegedly defective part may be partly responsible for the accident. Additionally, a mechanic who failed to fix the alleged malfunction on a truck may also be held accountable if it can be proven that his or her negligence caused injuries or damages. Due to the complexity of many semi-truck accidents, it's important to consult with an experienced Georgia truck crash injury lawyer as soon as you feel as though you may have a claim.
Contact Van Sant Law Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a semi-truck accident and you have reason to believe that the incident occurred due to a maintenance problem, Van Sant Law can inform you of your legal rights. We'll provide you with a free consultation and answer your questions to determine if you have a valid case. Fill out our free, no-obligation online contact form, or call us as soon as possible at 404-991-5950 to speak with one of our experienced 18-wheeler accident injury attorneys and take the first step in seeking the compensation to which you may be entitled.