According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), large commercial trucks accounted for 8 percent of all fatal auto collisions in 2015. In the same year, large trucks accounted for approximately 4 percent of all auto crashes that resulted in injuries or property damage. Facts like this are why the Kirkland, WA trucking accident lawyers of Quick Law Group, PLLC take these kinds of crashes seriously, no matter where they happen in the state.
While negligence and driver error are common causes of large truck accidents, our legal team wants to focus on how vehicle maintenance issues can contribute to motor vehicle crashes.
Commercial Trucks Need to Be Regularly Serviced
Large trucks cover a lot of ground each year as they haul cargo across the state and around the country. A truck might drive around 100,000 to 150,000 miles in a year depending on how busy they are. While large trucks are designed for additional wear and tear, the long haul can take its toll on the safety of a vehicle.
Regular maintenance, repairs, and other kinds of mechanical service should be performed in order to ensure the vehicle is in proper working order.
Why Lack of Maintenance Is Dangerous
If a commercial truck is not regularly services, there's an increased risk of accidents happened. Sometime as simple as changing tires can mean the difference between a safe truck and a risk of accidents. The same goes for other simple forms of maintenance, such as changing turn signals and tail lights or replacing motor oil and other fluids.
The issues become more pronounced if there is a problem with a large truck's brakes or steering system, or with the devices in place to prevent jackknife accidents occurring. Poor maintenance or lack of maintenance means a large truck is running less than optimally, which could spell danger for truck drivers and other motorists.
Negligent Maintenance Can Lead to Problems on the Road
Even if a large truck is regularly tuned up and serviced, there's a risk that mechanics did not perform their job properly. A brake line may not be working, or perhaps the wrong tires were used for a commercial vehicle. When mechanics and vehicle technicians don't do their job right, it puts truck drivers and other motorists at risk.
Who Is Responsible for Improper Vehicle Maintenance?
When it comes to maintenance-related truck accidents, it's important that all evidence be considered when determining legal liability.
A truck driver may be responsible for an accident if they notice a problem while driving and they do not have it addressed in a timely manner. For example, a truck driver might ignore a service light or warning light rather than having the issue looked at as soon as possible.
A trucking company may be responsible if they do not have their fleet regularly maintained or tuned up. Trucking companies should have vehicles that are in proper working order rather than keeping an old or damage truck in the fleet.
Finally, mechanics for large trucks may be responsible for faulty work and negligence while doing their job. Failure to fix a problem or properly identify a vehicle issue puts the onus on them.
Learn More About Your Legal Options
For more information about your legal rights and options after a collision with a large truck, be sure to contact our team of injury and accident attorneys today. The legal team at Quick Law Group, PLLC will offer expert counsel and peace of mind during the legal process.