The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a government agency responsible for enforcing safety regulations that govern the trucking industry. Trucking companies and operators must comply with these standards to mitigate the potential risks of accidents. Among the many rules, motor carriers must systematically inspect, repair, and maintain all vehicles under their control to ensure they operate properly. When the appropriate parties fail to comply with federal trucking regulations, they drastically increase the risk of being involved in an accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by poor truck maintenance, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of a competent Birmingham Truck Accident Lawyer who can help you hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence. 

Who’s Liable for Inadequate Truck Maintenance? 

In some instances, various parties can bear responsibility for systemically inspecting, repairing, and maintaining commercial vehicles. The FMCSA requires drivers to conduct pre-trip and post-trip inspections. Those who operate a truck without certifying that the trucking company has remedied all defects listed in the prior inspection can be held liable for their negligence. 

If a trucking company fails to inspect vehicles and perform the necessary repairs, it can be liable for a truck crash caused by inadequate maintenance. However, a truck owner, intermodal equipment provider, or third-party mechanic can bear liability if they fail to maintain or repair commercial vehicles. Proving that poor truck maintenance caused a collision will require various pieces of evidence to show how the lack of maintenance caused a mechanical failure that led to the crash and identify the parties responsible for the negligent maintenance. 

How Does Poor Truck Maintenance Contribute to Accidents?

While various factors contribute to these accidents, such as human error, one aspect that is often overlooked is poor truck maintenance. Inadequately maintained trucks pose a significant risk on the road as they can lead to the following mechanical issues: 

  • Brake failure: Improperly maintained brake lines or worn brake pads and rotors can prevent truck drivers from stopping in time or at all, leading to accidents, such as rear-end collisions.
  • Tire blowouts: Trucks rely heavily on their tires. When trucks are inadequately inspected, tires can suffer excessive wear and damage, leading to blowouts. Consequently, truck drivers can lose control of the vehicle. 
  • Steering issues: Inadequate maintenance can result in steering system failures. This can make it difficult or impossible for the driver to maneuver the vehicle. 
  • Lighting problems: Improperly maintained lighting systems can cause visibility issues. This is especially true in adverse weather conditions and at night.  

As you can see, numerous mechanical issues can arise due to inadequate truck maintenance and lead to accidents. If you’ve been seriously injured in a truck accident that may have occurred due to negligent truck maintenance, it’s in your best interest to contact an experienced Birmingham truck accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. O’Grady today, who can help you pursue damages.