Commercial Truck Maintenance Standards in Georgia
Many factors can contribute to serious commercial truck accidents — and not all involve the driver. While the driver’s actions, training and physical condition are usually among the first things attorneys examine when investigating these accidents, other factors are worth consideration as well. The mechanical condition of the commercial vehicle involved can often be a contributing or even primary factor if the vehicle’s owner failed to observe reasonable maintenance standards.
Commercial rigs travel tens of thousands of miles every year carrying heavy loads over lengthy periods of sustained operation through all types of weather and terrain. As a result, a rigorous maintenance program is essential. Georgia has largely adopted the maintenance regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations place numerous maintenance and record-keeping obligations upon trucking and transportation companies:
- Companies must document all inspections, maintenance and repairs.
- Companies must submit to roadside inspections by law enforcement and correct any violations within 15 days.
- All vehicles must undergo a comprehensive inspection each year and owners must maintain the report of that inspection for at least two years.
- Technicians used to inspect, maintain or repair brakes must be specially qualified through an appropriate government or union training program.
Obtaining maintenance records for a rig that is involved in a serious accident should be a top priority. Even the most experienced and attentive commercial drivers often cannot compensate for a sudden mechanical failure. If such a failure could have been prevented through compliance with maintenance regulations, there may be a strong case for liability against the owner of the vehicle in question. An experienced Atlanta truck accident attorney can investigate the possibility that maintenance deficiencies led to your injury and help you take appropriate action.