A broad range of factors can influence someone’s risk for a crash while driving. Inadequate or improper maintenance on a vehicle is one of those factors, as poorly maintained vehicles may not respond appropriately to a driver’s attempt to maneuver in an emergency.

While you expect that some individual vehicle owners may not have the money, knowledge or time to properly maintain your vehicles, you likely assume that commercial vehicles on the road that are part of a commercial fleet have had all necessary maintenance performed on a routine basis. After all, maintenance affects everything from liability to gas mileage.

Unfortunately, commercial vehicle crashes can easily stem from inadequate maintenance, even if the vehicle is part of a fleet owned by a large transportation company that has the resources to ensure each vehicle is safe and fit for the road. In fact, commercial vehicle maintenance issues are among the top causes of motor vehicle collisions involving big trucks.

According to data, maintenance plays a role in 10% of crashes

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) collects and analyzes information about crashes in order to reduce the frequency with which serious collisions involving commercial vehicles occur. They institute rules to help keep the public as safe as possible while sharing the road with large commercial vehicles.

The FMCSA tracks the number of crashes where truck drivers are responsible and then assigns specific causes to those collisions. According to data from the FMCSA, 1 in 10 truck crashes caused by the bigger commercial vehicle is the result of maintenance issues with the commercial truck. When you consider the size and weight of these trucks, it’s easy to understand how bad brakes or other maintenance issues could quickly cause dangerous conditions on the road.

Inadequate maintenance may open up different avenues for compensation

In most car crashes, including those involving commercial trucks, victims who suffer property damage or injuries because of another driver’s mistakes can file an insurance claim or possibly a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.

In a situation involving faulty maintenance, the injured parties may be able to look into holding the truck owner or trucking company involved responsible for their inability to maintain a safe fleet.