Many commercial vehicle accidents happen on California roads because of defects that the truck driver may or may not have known about before driving. A truck that was involved in an accident might have been manufactured with defective parts, or the truck driver may have failed to inspect the truck properly before getting behind the wheel.
To prevent accidents caused by truck defects, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has guidelines for driver vehicle inspections. The guidelines apply to drivers of all types of commercial vehicles, not just commercial truck drivers. Prior to driving a commercial vehicle, drivers are expected to perform checks of a number of different vehicle components to ensure that they are in good working order.
One of the most common causes of truck accidents is malfunctioning brake systems, and service brakes are one of the vehicle components that truck drivers must check before driving. Drivers are also supposed to check the parking brake, lighting devices, steering system, tires, mirrors and horn. Commercial truck drivers must also be sure that the wheels, rims, coupling devices and emergency equipment on the vehicle are working before they drive.
If a defective truck part leads to a serious motor vehicle accident, the truck driver, the trucking company and the truck manufacturer may all hold some liability for the crash. An attorney assisting a person who has been injured in a truck accident can check the vehicle's maintenance logs and other evidence in order to determine whether federal trucking regulations were violated. If so, the attorney may find it advisable to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties seeking compensation for the losses that the victim has sustained.