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Semi-truck accidents are some of the deadliest around. They lead to major injuries and an unprecedented amount of damage during and after the incident, and often poor maintenance has a big role to play in what causes them. Rush Injury Law explores the main reasons why this is true in the guide below and leaves some advice for anyone who finds themselves in this unfortunate circumstance.
Semi-trucks are a major presence on American roads, and you are likely to pass at least a dozen when you travel out and about in your vehicle. Fleets and drivers have to follow strict rules when it comes to how they maintain the trucks in order to ensure they are fulfilling their obligation regarding duty of care to other road users and pedestrians. When this doesn’t happen, any number of consequences may take place. For example:
Semi-trucks see a lot of action out on the road. They are driven over long distances and long hours, and this means they will be more vulnerable to wear and tear or malfunctioning parts. Any vehicle that is driven at a high frequency must be well looked after including regular tire rotation and replacement, brake checks, oil changes, and engine observations. This is to make sure they are roadworthy and safe for everyone they come into contact with.
As discussed above, there are a fair few things that could go wrong, and often do, when a semi-truck is neglected. Not only is the driver at risk, but pedestrians, cyclists, motorbike riders, and car users are too. Let’s observe the main problems.
The brakes are evidently one of the most vital parts of any vehicle, and a semi-truck that weighs significantly more than the average car needs some special care and attention in this area. It is already difficult to bring these grand vehicles to a complete halt because a driver has increased stopping distances and has to work harder to slow down in general. Therefore, if they have not been well maintained and therefore malfunctioned, everyone is at risk.
Though it may feel impossible to not see a semi-truck, if their signals and headlights cease to function then they are as vulnerable as every other road user. These vehicles have such a presence that people need to know what they are doing and where their driving intentions are heading. One broken headlight can mean the difference between being noticed and being crashed into, for instance, during a period of poor weather. Just because they are giant, doesn’t mean they are any more visible in poor weather conditions such as a fog cloud.
The tires are another essential part of the semi-truck. They are different from the average vehicle, of course, because of the size comparison. Yet, if the truck has not been serviced with a tire change and there is wear and tear on the tread or a missed slow puncture, things can go wrong fairly quickly and in a big way too. The absolute maximum period of time is six years before a set of tires needs replacing for brand new ones. The recommended timescale is within three years and this all depends on how often the semi is driven about and how far it goes. However, they should be checked before every journey just to be on the safe side.
It is hard to ignore the fact that semi-truck accidents cause a high rate of death. If victims survive, there are most likely to be catastrophic injuries that cause long-term consequences too. The sheer size and weight of this type of vehicle means that if they are crashed into or fail to stop, for instance, there is a far bigger chance of a multi-car incident too. These facts cannot be ignored. Maintenance is just one of those routine things that must take place to ensure that everyone is safe.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a semi-truck accident, you may be wondering, what’s next? The answer is different for everyone. One thing that remains consistent across the board, however, is that action must be taken! Whether you are facing life after losing someone you love, or with a major injury that has changed your future, we can help. If you suspect the accident took place owing to poor maintenance, here’s what to do.
Talk to our team about what kind of evidence is the most appropriate. Generally, an attorney here will request the telematics data from the semi-truck at the time of the crash. We would also verify the maintenance records of the fleet in question to ascertain whether there were any gaps worth noting. If you have any pictures or a police report from the time of the accident, this will be useful for negotiations as well.
The other thing that must be done is to record your journey at each interval. This means noting every injury and keeping track of medical interventions too. This will help when it comes to determining the right figure for settlement and compensation.
There are plenty of reasons why poor maintenance leads to semi-truck accidents. These types of collisions are often catastrophic by nature and yield devastating consequences for the victims. It is vital to seek advice and take action if you or a loved one were involved in a semi-truck accident, and Rush Injury Law knows exactly what to do. Get in touch today.
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