Truck Accidents due to Truck Defect and Malfunction
Adequate knowledge and skills are required for a person to be legally allowed to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), like a bus and a tow truck, but, most especially, a truck, also called a big rig or an 18-wheeler. Trucks are normally 70 feet long and about 40 tons or 80,000 lbs. heavy, thus, acting as potential threats to the many other smaller vehicles these share the road with.
The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 mandates that only qualified drivers are issued a commercial driver’s license, while those who are unsafe or unqualified are removed from the road; this is to help ensure road safety at all times. Adherence to the Act is enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the US Department of Transportation. Besides this, the FMCSA also implements other rules that will help reduce the likelihood of truck accidents, such as the 11-hour maximum driving time, which is part of a truck driver’s 14-hour duty. This maximum driving time regulation includes a 10 consecutive hour off-duty period to make sure that drivers do not suffer from fatigue or sleepiness whenever they get behind the wheel.
With truck driver fatigue effectively addressed, the Department of Transportation is able to focus on other factors that are equally considered vital to road safety: truck defect and malfunction, specifically brake malfunction. This is because brake failure has been identified as another major cause of accidents involving trucks, accidents that usually result to severe injuries or fatal consequences. Factors that constitute a brake failure include brakes suffused with grease or oil, thin or worn out brake pads, overheated brakes, or worn tires.
Where trucks or 18-wheelers are concerned, brakes are among their most important functions. To keep these vehicles’ braking systems safe and efficient the federal government has created standards to which manufacturers must strictly comply. Federal standards require that a braking system must allow a truck to decelerate until it comes to a full stop at a rate specific to its size and a force based on its weight. Failure to meet federal standards can result to something that is much worse than just violating government rules; it could lead to a catastrophic road accident that can seriously injure some individuals and kill others.
Due to the major contribution trucks provide the nation’s economy it is impossible to avoid sharing the road with these. However, because of the many integrated mechanical and computer systems that these utilize, any defect or malfunction may possibly result to an accident, which can easily and completely alter the life of the victim and his/her family. Thus, in the event of an accident, it is absolutely advisable that the victim get in touch with a Texas truck accident lawyer immediately for the legal actions that he/she has the right to take as well as to make sure that he/she receives the full amount of compensation that will cover all present and future damages resulting from the accident.