According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 2,752,043 registered tractor-trailers in the United States in 2016. In total, large trucks traveled 287.9 billion miles in America that year. That is a lot of miles covered across the country’s roadways. Given the distances and numbers in those stats, you can imagine the wear and tear on vehicles each year, especially if they routinely make long trips between states to deliver and ship freight. Vehicle maintenance issues can lead to large truck accidents, and it’s important to hold negligent parties accountable.
The Law Office Of Shane R. Kadlec here in Houston, TX would like to consider hazards linked to poor large truck maintenance. We’ll also note liability in these kinds of accidents so you are aware of your legal rights.
Tire Blowouts on Large Trucks
Tires must be rotated and replaced on semi-trucks. The long trips that they make can result in serious wear on these tires, making blowouts and shredding much more likely. Blowouts could lead to tractor-trailers losing control. Shredded tires can also lead to hazards, with treat shot out at high velocity at nearby motorists.
Brake Problems on Large Trucks
Given the size of tractor-trailers, it’s essential that large trucks have brakes that function properly. Problems with slowing down and stopping can increase the risks of rear end crashes, running red lights, T-bone collisions, jackknifing, and other serious hazards.
Steering System Malfunctions
Driving a large truck can be extremely challenging, especially when making tight turns and maneuvering smaller roads. This is why steering systems on large trucks must be in proper working order. Steering problems can make jackknifing and rollovers far more likely for these large vehicles.
Issues with Trailer Coupling Systems
The trailer hauled by a large truck is attached and controlled with a coupling system. This helps ensure the whole vehicle turns properly and remains attached for long drives. Issues with coupling systems could result in the trailer coming loose or jackknife accidents occurring.
Headlight and Tail Light Issues
Being seen and remaining seen on the road is a sure way to avoid accidents. When large trucks experience issues with headlights or tail lights, the risk of collision is much higher. Bulbs and/or fuses must be replaced when they burn out to avoid potential dangers.
Lack of Regular Maintenance and Service
As with any other vehicle, regular tune-ups and fluid checks are crucial for a large truck to run properly. When a tractor-trailer is not serviced at regular intervals, the risk of a vehicle issue increases.
Failure to Replace Old Vehicles
There are times when fixing a vehicle is no longer worth the cost or time involved. That’s why trucking companies replace older vehicles with newer ones after a certain amount of time. If a trucking company’s fleet is old or obsolete, there is a higher risk of vehicle failure and collisions.
Who Is Liable for These Kinds of Accidents?
Liability in truck accidents caused by poor vehicle maintenance can vary. In some cases, the trucking company may be liable for injury and damage due to negligence on their part, while in other cases, a truck driver may be liable for failing to have their vehicle serviced. Even mechanics may be held accountable for faulty work or failure to identify a maintenance issue.
A skilled attorney can consider the nature of your collision and help you hold the right party accountable for their actions.
Learn More About Truck Accident Lawsuits
For more information about your legal rights after a collision with a large truck or commercial vehicle, be sure to contact an experienced injury accident attorney. The Law Office Of Shane R. Kadlec is here to help. You can reach our office by phone at (281) 643-2000.