Of the many causes of truck accidents, equipment failures are among the more common. Large trucks rely on a number of components and systems to run properly. If any one of these systems is compromised, the truck may not operate according to the driver’s expectations. Obviously, this can then result in the truck driver losing control of the vehicle, resulting in a serious or fatal truck accident.
Due to the risks inherent in operating a large truck, the law places a duty on all truck drivers to maintain their vehicles in a safe manner. The level of the duty somewhat depends on which type of truck is being operated and which cargo is being transported. For example, truck drivers transporting hazardous materials have an increased duty to maintain their vehicles in a safe condition to avoid the spilling of the hazardous cargo.
Generally speaking, a truck driver’s duty to inspect and maintain his vehicle extends to the systems that are easily inspected and those for which failure can result in serious problems in the vehicle’s operation. These systems include the tires, brakes, cargo area, and lights and signals. If an accident is caused by a truck driver’s failure to inspect his vehicle, that driver may be held financially liable for the injuries caused as a result. This may even be the case if the truck driver was not issued a traffic citation.