Tens of thousands of road users are injured each year in Oklahoma and around the country in motor vehicle accidents involving semi-tractor trailers, and a worryingly large number of these crashes are caused by either equipment failures or mechanical defects of some kind. Trucking companies are expected to maintain their vehicles properly to prevent this type of accident, but not all of them do.
Sophisticated trucks and soaring costs
Commercial vehicles have become far more complex in recent years, which has led to far higher maintenance costs. A report published by the American Transportation Research Institute in November 2019 reveals that tractor-trailer maintenance costs have increased by 66% in just the last 10 years. During the same period, the number of miles covered by large trucks also increased significantly. These factors, combined with the pressures of operating in a fiercely competitive industry, have created a very dangerous situation.
The results of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s most recent International Roadcheck safety initiative reveal just how serious the problem of lax tractor-trailer maintenance has become. During the 72-hour crackdown, more than 50,000 commercial vehicles were pulled over and inspected for safety issues in the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than one in five of them were then ordered off the road after inspectors found violations that posed a serious threat to other road users. Almost 5,000 of the out-of-service orders were issued because of defective or poorly adjusted air braking systems.
Suing trucking companies
When motor vehicle accidents are caused by poorly maintained commercial vehicles, the road users who suffer injury, loss or damage may seek compensation by suing the trucking companies involved. When preparing this type of lawsuit, experienced personal injury attorneys may look for a pattern of negligence by checking the results of safety initiatives like International Roadcheck.