Cranwell & Moore P.L.C., Attorneys at Law

Does negligent truck maintenance contribute to truck accidents?

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There are a variety of factors that can contribute to a truck accident. One contributing factor can be negligent truck maintenance. When a truck's brakes are not checked on a regular basis, or minor problems are allowed to grow into major problems, the results can be catastrophic, oftentimes leading to major collisions with motor vehicles.

How then do Virginia drivers know that trucks are being maintained properly? Unfortunately, Virginia drivers cannot be assured that all trucks on the road are properly maintained and operating without defective auto parts. There are methods of enforcement, however, that aim to supervise and regulate the safety of trucks on the road. One of these methods is through inspections of commercial vehicles.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2015 state and federal personnel executed 3.4 million roadside truck inspections. Vehicle inspections identified an astounding 470,906 out-of-service violations, which may include violations related to the truck itself in terms of maintenance or inspection requirements. Furthermore, driver inspections identified 159,122 out-of-service violations. These violations may include truckers who are driving in violation of prescribed time limitations and ordered rest periods. There were also 7,373 hazmat out-of-service violations identified, which may include violations related to proper transport of hazardous materials.

Unfortunately, despite the millions of inspections conducted and the multitude of problems identified, there are undoubtedly many more trucks operating on Virginia's highways that do not meet proper safety standards. Also, there are probably truckers out there who do not comply with regulations. If you have been involved in a truck accident in which negligent truck maintenance may have been a factor, you may wish to consult with an attorney regarding your rights and the possibility of recovering compensation for your damages.

Source: FleetOwner, "Trucking by the Number 2016: Safety," accessed Sep. 9, 2016

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