Regulations require truck equipment safety checks

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Regulations require truck equipment safety checks

Even one truck accident is too many, but in 2014, there were 4,596 large truck crashes in New York that resulted in 1,900 injuries and 120 fatalities, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. To improve safety on the state’s roadways, the New York Department of Transportation enforces the same safety regulations required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding the operation, inspection, maintenance and repair of large trucks.

Commercial vehicle operators have more responsibilities than drivers of passenger vehicles when they head out on the roadways in New York, and ensuring the safe condition of the truck is one of the primary concerns. In addition to regularly scheduled maintenance by a professional mechanic, a truck operator should inspect the vehicle before beginning each day’s drive. This includes the following:

  •          Brakes and brake connections
  •          Tires, wheels and rims
  •          Lights, signals and reflectors
  •          Steering mechanism
  •          Emergency equipment
  •          Windshield wipers

The FMCSA requires drivers to fill out a driver vehicle inspection report and list any mechanical defects or causes for concern from the day’s drive. These must be inspected by a mechanic and repaired, if necessary.

A truck driver who is behind the wheel when a fatal truck accident occurs due to equipment failure is not necessarily the person who is at fault for the crash. The mechanic who performed a repair and signed off on the report may be the one who is guilty of negligence, or it could be the trucking company or even the vehicle manufacturer. It is even possible that negligence by two or more people may have contributed to the factors that caused the fatal accident.

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