The Importance of Proper Maintenance in Preventing Commercial Truck Accidents

The Importance of Proper Maintenance in Preventing Commercial Truck Accidents

We’re all guilty of it—the date and mileage listed on our window sticker comes and goes, and yet we keep putting the miles on without a trip to the dealership. After all, if everything sounds okay, what could go wrong? While stretching out the time between maintenance appointments for a passenger vehicle may be a little risky, it’s not quite the same for commercial trucks. In fact, maintenance is such an important part of truck driving that its part of a driver’s daily routine.

Find out why maintenance is such a critical part of decreasing truck accident numbers, and if you’ve been injured in a truck accident, let us help. Call Bailey, Javins & Carter at 800-497-0234.

Regular Inspections Are Crucial

The average tractor-trailer goes through far more than your average passenger vehicle. Assuming that a truck is driven up to 11 hours per day, it’s typical to put up to 650 miles per day on a tractor-trailer. Every single part of the vehicle is going to feel that strain, and any small issues will very quickly become large issues.

That’s why the FMCSA requires drivers to complete a daily post-trip inspection report. This gives trucking companies the chance to catch problems early and get the proper maintenance work done. Not only does this save companies money, but it also prevents accidents.

Proper Maintenance Keeps the Roads Safe

There’s no doubt about it: trucks on an appropriate maintenance schedule save lives. Consider the damage that can be caused by a passenger vehicle when its brakes go out or a tire blows out. This type of accident can cause fatal injuries. Now, consider how much more damage a truck with a similar issue can cause.

A truck’s tire blowout can leave hazardous materials strewn across the road, and defective brakes can turn a tractor-trailer into a bulldozer. The only way to protect drivers from these very real possibilities is to ensure that truck drivers and trucking companies follow aggressive inspection schedules.

Inspections Are Necessary for Compliance

Not only are inspections necessary for accident prevention, but they are also legally required. The FMCSA’s requirements go beyond the daily post-trip inspection, although those requirements are also very detailed. The driver must detail specific defects and deficiencies, report those to the motor carrier, and wait to drive again until necessary repairs are made. The motor carrier can also certify that the repair is not immediately necessary and schedule it for later.

The FMCSA also has strict annual inspection requirements. Inspections must address everything listed in the Minimum Periodic Inspection Standards. Motor carriers must keep copies of these inspections for at least 14 months after the inspection.

What if an issue is noticed outside the regular inspection period? The FMCSA also addresses these situations. Their regulations include broad requirements that cover trucks with unsafe or malfunctioning components. They note that all parts and accessories must be in a safe condition at all times, and that commercial vehicles must not be driven when they are in a condition likely to cause an accident or vehicle breakdown.

Some Components Require More Work

While comprehensive inspections are an essential part of driving a truck, there are some components and systems that are more prone to breakdowns or malfunctions than others. A truck’s brakes experience an enormous amount of wear and tear.

Most truck drivers drive during daytime hours, which often means spending some time in traffic. Brakes that stop an 80,000-pound vehicle undergo much more strain than brakes in control of a two-ton vehicle. Tires are another important part of truck safety, and they too experience lots of wear and tear.

Careful attention should also be paid to the suspension, which is important for the truck’s stability and handling. Lights should be checked before every trip, as malfunctioning lights can cause an accident at night or in inclement weather.

Have You Been Injured in a Crash? Contact Bailey, Javins & Carter Today

After a truck accident, you need an advocate who’s ready to fight for your right to seek compensation. That’s where we come in. Our team is here to help you pursue every dollar you deserve. Schedule your consultation now by calling us at 800-497-0234 or sending us a message online.