Trucking Accidents Resulting From Improper Inspection
If you are like most people, you probably do not conduct much of an inspection upon your vehicle before you take off on a trip of even moderate length, unless you are aware of an ongoing problem with your vehicle, such as a tendency for it to burn oil, or if it has a tire you know has a slow leak.
But just as a pilot is supposed to conduct a preflight inspection of the airplane before every flight, a truck driver is supposed to conduct a pre-trip inspection of the truck before driving away in the truck. Federal regulations (found at 49 CFR 392.9), require the driver of the truck to, “…Examine the commercial motor vehicle’s cargo and its load securing devices within the first 25 miles after beginning to maintain the security of the commercial motor vehicle’s load;”
After the 25 mile inspection, the driver must also inspect the load at the earlier of 3 hours, or 150 miles after the 25 mile inspection.
Of course the point of these inspections is to minimize the chance that the load is improperly secure, or has shifted unsafely during transport. The consequences of such a situation could be disastrous, as trucks often carry large, heavy items. Were something large and heavy to come off the truck at 75 miles an hour on the interstate, the results are likely to be catastrophic.
Some of the largest jury verdicts, and even settlements, have come from litigation involving things falling off of trucks going down the interstate. Such large verdicts are often the result of a jury’s perception that what happened to cause the crash is more than simple negligence of the trucking company, but willful inattention to deeply ingrained safety protocols. Checking up on the matters discussed above is just as basic to operation of the truck as is the checking of the amount of fuel aboard a plane before starting the plane’s engines.
If you are injured in trucking related crash, whether it is from something falling off the truck, or a typical crash involving being struck by the truck, it is important for you to contact an attorney experienced with trucking litigation.