Recently, we described how federal law requires pre-trip inspections before a tractor-trailer can be put on the road. Our article also covers the dangers these inspections can prevent. But it still might shock you to learn a major cause of 18-wheeler accidents is bad or failed brakes.
The question becomes: What keeps truckers and trucking companies from evading responsibility by just denying they knew about these defects? What keeps them from saying the defect developed after the pre-trip inspection?
Answer: the written inspection reports required by federal law.
Federal Regulations Require These Reports for Road Safety
There are two types of inspections that must be properly documented:
At the end of every workday, truckers must complete a written report covering items in the pre-trip inspection. If defects affecting safe operation or potentially causing a breakdown are found—or even reported to—the trucker, he must list them on a report and sign it.
Before the truck can be driven again, the trucking company must make the repairs, then certify them on the report. The next trucker to drive the vehicle must review the report and sign it to confirm full repairs were completed.
Whether defects are found or not, the next trucker to drive the truck must review the prior daily inspection before driving. These reports must be kept three months.
Documentation of the annual inspection must be kept with the truck. This detailed inspection includes close evaluation of brakes, steering, and tire equipment. The trucking company can do the inspection or send it to a business employing qualified inspectors as defined by federal regulations. A roadside inspection by state or federal officials can also satisfy this requirement.
When You’re Injured Due to Defective Equipment on a Truck
Figuring out faulty equipment caused a truck crash isn’t easy—like the proverbial smoking gun, you have to know what to look for and where to look. At Holland & Usry, we are familiar with the regulations and we can find trucking industry experts to help us prove the major factors causing a serious semi-trailer crash.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck wreck in Spartanburg, Greenville, Gaffney, or anywhere in South Carolina, it will be an uphill battle with an experienced, hardnosed insurance company backing the industry that hurt you. You need someone on your side with experience and determination to protect your rights and demand proper compensation for what the trucking company and its driver put you through.
Feel free to start a live chat or email right where you are, or you can always call us at 864.582.0416 or toll-free at 888.230.1841. We’ll have a free meeting to start building your case against them, to get as much as you can for what they took from you.