According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are 3,341 fatal traffic accidents and 60,000 injury-causing traffic accidents involving large commercial trucks every year. Texas leads the nation when it comes to large-truck involvement in fatal crashes. Many factors contribute to these types of accidents, but in every crash, there are at least three factors at play:
- The driver
- The truck
- Road conditions
Even when road conditions are great and the driver is doing everything right, accidents can still occur if the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is not properly maintained. This lies on the trucking company’s shoulders.
Ongoing Maintenance of 18-Wheelers
Trucking companies are responsible for the ongoing maintenance of their vehicles. This can include things like:
- Brake replacement
- Tire rotation, maintaining appropriate air pressure, and replacement
- Head and tail light replacement
Trucking companies are on strict deadlines to get their cargo to the desired destination in as little time possible. Unfortunately, this desire is often directly opposed to safety and maintenance. When profit comes before safety, people often get hurt. If you were involved in a truck accident caused by something like brake failure, you may have a claim against the driver or their trucking company.
Truck Scales and Police Stops
Truck scales (also called "weigh stations") are designed to regulate CMVs and big rigs on our nation’s highways and interstates. If a truck is not up to par as far as its maintenance is concerned, police may hold the vehicle there or issue a "fix-it" ticket. If a driver continues to drive for longer than the permitted time after a warning or fix-it ticket, and a maintenance-related accident occurs, the driver could also be held responsible for that accident.
A fully loaded commercial truck or big rig can weigh up to 80,000 pounds – and even more when improperly loaded. Accidents involving vehicles like these can have disastrous consequences for all involved.
If this happened to you, we invite you to contact the San Antonio trucking accident lawyers at Wyatt Law Firm today for a free review of your case.