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Improper Truck Maintenance

Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyer Discusses Deferred and Improper Maintenance and Vehicle Neglect

It can be mind boggling to think about how many vehicles are out on America’s highways, but it’s downright scary to think about how many of those vehicles are not operating properly because of deferred maintenance and outright vehicle neglect. These are ticking time bombs out on our roadways and they represent accidents waiting to happen. The scariest situation of all is a neglected large commercial truck or tractor trailer, and these vehicles cause serious accidents every year.

Why Do Large Truck Companies Defer Maintenance?

For the same reasons that you as a homeowner may wait to replace an ailing appliance, or wait to paint your house until the summer even though it needs it now, trucking companies will wait to replace or upgrade parts and trucks. The most common reason to defer maintenance is cash flow related, and companies or owners that don’t have the money won’t do the work needed. Just because you defer maintenance or the replacement of parts, doesn’t mean that you are breaking the law. Parts could need replacing but still operate for some time, but that decision needs to be made for the right reasons, and not having enough capital to complete the replacement is not a good enough reason. Once certain safety thresholds are crossed and lives are endangered, the vehicle owner has become negligent. When this negligence is committed by the owner or operator of a large commercial truck, the consequences can prove fatal.

Common Maintenance Issues with Large Trucks

There are laws and regulations for the trucking industry that require the vehicles to be inspected periodically. These inspections don’t cover every important or possibly dangerous system in the truck, and they are usually completed at weight stations. Less morally sound truckers will avoid these scales in an attempt to avoid inspection, and this is how neglected trucks stay on America’s highways.

The three most common maintenance issues with large trucks involve the following systems:

  • Breaks – Its easy to see how a failure with this system can lead to a serious accident. A tractor trailers breaks need to be able to stop up to 50,000 pounds travelling at over 60mph. If this system is not properly maintained and replaced as needed, people’s lives are at risk. It is estimate that between 5 and 10% of all large truck accidents happen because of bad breaks.
  • Tires – These are another crucially important system on a tractor trailer, and properly maintained tires are critical for maintaining an adequate grip on the road. Semi truck tires are required to handle immense loads, and proper inflation is critical. When such weight is applied to improperly inflated or damaged tires, the tires are prone to blowout. Tire blowouts on a big rig are very serious and can cause the trailer to jackknife. Tires that blow off are also dangerous projectiles out on the highway that can cause additional accidents and damage as they fly off.
  • Lights – Tractors and Trailers have separate lighting systems that must be connected and if not connected properly, the trailer’s lights will not work. Truck drivers switch trailers often and the trailer’s lighting systems are not always operating correctly. This causes accidents with drivers who can’t tell whether the large truck is breaking or not.

A Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help!

If you have been involved in an accident with a large truck, its possible that vehicle maintenance (or lack thereof) played a part! An experienced Sacramento truck accident lawyer has the litigators and investigators that you need to ensure that responsible parties are held accountable. If you have been injured in a truck accident in Sacramento, call our Sacramento truck accident lawyer for a free consultation today.

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    Joseph B. Weinberger
    Joe Weinberger has represented thousands of injured people nearly 30 years of practicing law. Widely respected by colleagues and known for providing practical, friendly and effective service, Mr. Weinberger attracts clients throughout the Northern California area.
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