Most commercial trucks receive very careful maintenance, as trucking companies understand the risk that their vehicles generate for other people on the road. Not only could a failure of maintenance mean a vehicle in their fleet becomes inoperable, but it could also lead to substantial financial liability for the company.
Engaging in proactive and thorough maintenance of all fleet vehicles is not only in the best interest of public safety but also in the best financial interests of the company itself. Unfortunately, there are always exceptions to the rule.
There are some commercial trucking companies and even individual owner-operators who don’t engage in adequate maintenance of their vehicle. When that happens, the result can be catastrophic, especially for any other vehicle that winds up involved in a collision with the poorly maintained truck.
Large commercial trucks undergo substantial wear and tear
Age and use are both factors in how much maintenance and work a commercial truck needs to remain safely operational. Unlike passenger vehicles driven by commuters, commercial trucks may drive for a majority of hours during any given day.
Instead of only being operational for a few hours at a time, commercial trucks may run for half a day or longer without the engine ever shutting off, except when the driver takes a break or refuels. All those hours of use can mean greater risk for component failure and other issues, such as the deterioration of critical systems like the brakes.
The more safety-critical a component or system is, the more important it is for trucking companies and owner-operators to routinely inspect that component or system for functionality and signs of wear.
Inadequate maintenance is a form of negligence that can create liability
Demonstrating fault in a motor vehicle collision can be a difficult task, but sometimes failures and mistakes by one driver are obviously the cause of the crash. For example, an improperly maintained commercial truck could experience performance issues that cause issues with turning or stopping, directly contributing to a crash.
If you or someone in your family wound up hurt in a crash that you believe relates to the inadequate maintenance of a commercial vehicle, you may have the right to take legal action against an individual owner-operator or a trucking company for their failure to maintain a safe vehicle and fleet.