Proper maintenance of large commercial trucks is critical for this and other reasons.

Under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, trucking companies are required to perform routine maintenance on big rigs and 18-wheelers. When they fail to do so, it can lead to truck accidents with disastrous consequences.

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How many truck accidents are caused by improper maintenance?

Despite federal regulations, routine inspection and maintenance of large commercial trucks may be neglected. FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted the Large Truck Causation Study to determine the reasons for serious crashes involving large trucks.

How improper maintenance leads to San Jose truck accidents

Big rigs carry heavy loads that put a strain on the truck’s equipment. For this reason, trucking companies are required to keep logs of maintenance and inspections to ensure their vehicles are operating properly. When large commercial trucks are improperly maintained, it can lead to equipment failure with profound consequences for others on the roadway, including:

  • Brake failure, leading to rear-end and other collisions
  • Steering malfunction and loss of control
  • Tire shredding and blowouts
  • Separation of the trailer from tractor, causing the tractor to collide with another vehicle
  • Broken tail lights or missing reflective tape, leading to truck underride accidents
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The number one reason for truck accidents in San Jose

The top 10 associated factors assigned to large trucks and their drivers were listed in the analysis brief of the study published by FMCSA. The number one associated factor was brake problems. Vehicle problems accounted for 10% of the critical reasons for truck accidents. Vehicle brake problems were assigned as a contributing factor to 41,000 large trucks involved in crashes. 

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What are FMCSA standards for commercial truck maintenance?

Federal requirements for inspection, repair, and maintenance of large commercial trucks are covered in the Code of Federal Regulations CFR Section 396.3. This regulation states that “Every motor carrier and intermodal equipment provider must systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained all motor vehicles and intermodal equipment subject to its control.” It also requires that parts and accessories always be in safe and proper operating condition. Commercial motor carriers must maintain records for every vehicle they control for 30 consecutive days.

What can you do after a truck accident caused by improper maintenance?

The priority after a serious truck accident is to get immediate medical treatment for your injuries. As soon as you are able, speak with an experienced San Jose truck accident attorney. The truck driver, trucking company, or another party may be liable for your injuries and property damage. Truck accidents are complex cases involving state and federal regulations and multiple potentially liable parties. Because trucking companies and their insurers have teams of lawyers to fight your claim, it’s crucial to have experienced legal representation handling your case as soon as possible after the crash.

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