Who is liable in trucking crashes caused by mechanical failures?

Semi-trucks and big rigs are involved in thousands of crashes on Oklahoma’s roadways every year, and the results of these crashes can be catastrophic. For victims and their families, determining who is liable for these crashes is the first step to getting the financial and medical support they need. Who can be held liable in common semi-truck mechanical failures?

Brake issues are part of nearly 30% of trucking crashes.

The Large Truck Crash Causation Study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that 29% of crashes involved brake problems. Because faulty brakes can leave drivers unable to slow or stop in emergencies, the accidents that these issues can be particularly catastrophic.

Responsibility for these issues can depend on the cause. The FMCSA requires carriers to regularly inspect and properly maintain their vehicles, and failures in that maintenance could leave the carrier liable. If the fault lay in faulty brake lines or other pieces of the braking system, the manufacturer may be responsible. The court may also find the driver liable if they knew that there was an issue but drove despite that knowledge.

Drivers depend on their lights for safer night driving.

The IIHS estimates light issues are a part of one-fifth of commercial vehicle accidents. Like brake failures, these lighting issues can involve a variety of causes. Poor maintenance can leave drivers with burned-out headlights and turn signals, and drivers who knowingly drive without lights put others in danger. Lights may also malfunction due to faulty manufacturing, making it difficult for drivers to see or signal their intent to other drivers after dark.

Tire failures can leave drivers without proper control.

The FMCSA estimates that 6% of crashes involve flat tires and other issues, and blowouts can leave other drivers in danger of collision with a large commercial vehicle. Carriers’ responsibility for proper tire maintenance and companies’ responsibility to manufacture tires correctly are both essential in the trucking business as a result.

Because truckers rely on a wide variety of mechanical systems to keep themselves and other drivers safe, investigating the particulars of a crash is essential. If you experienced harm in a trucking accident, speak to an attorney. They can fight for fair treatment and hold companies, drivers and others responsible for their part in your accident. By holding them responsible, you can get the support you need to recover.

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