A Trucking Company’s Duty to Inspect, Repair, and Maintain Its Vehicles in a Safe Condition

The FMCSR require that all trucking companies “systemically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, or maintained, all motor vehicles subject to its controls.”

This general duty of a trucking company to maintain its vehicles in good working order includes a duty to maintain repair records and inspection reports, the duty to maintain driver reports, which are to be filed by a driver each day on each vehicle driven, and a duty to make periodic inspections of each vehicle.

Obligations Imposed on Drivers and Trucking Companies by the FMCSR

All obligations of a truck driver under the FMCSR are likewise obligations of the carrier for whom he or she drives. Section 392.2 provides that all vehicles subject to the FMCSR are to be operated in accordance with the laws, ordinances, and regulations of the jurisdiction in which they are being operated. Further, this section provides the FMCSR are to be followed when the FMCSR impose a higher standard than a local law.

Section 392.3 prohibits any driver from operating a truck when his or her ability or alertness is so impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other causes making it unsafe for him or her to drive. This section can often be used in conjunction with Section 395.3, which set out the maximum driving time allowed for any driver in a 24‑hour period, a 7‑day period, and an 8‑day period.

Section 392.4 prohibits the use of any amphetamines or “pep pills” while driving, and Section 392.5 prohibits any use of alcohol by a driver within four hours before going on duty, with “alcohol use” being defined as “the consumption of any beverage, mixture, or preparation, including any medication, containing alcohol.”

Section 392.7 requires a driver to make a pre‑trip inspection of his or her vehicle to determine the specified parts and accessories are in good working order. Likewise, Section 392.8 requires that a driver inspect the emergency equipment of his or her vehicle to make sure it is in good working order for driving. Section 392.9 provides for the responsibility of the driver to make sure that his or her vehicle has been properly loaded and also provides that a driver is to examine the load and the load‑securing devices within the first 25 miles after beginning a trip, and thereafter, every 3 hours or 150 miles of driving, whichever occurs first.

Section 392.14 requires using extreme caution in the operation of his or her truck during hazardous conditions, such as those caused by the snow, rain, and other weather conditions, which adversely affect visibility or traction. This section goes on to say that “speed shall be reduced when such conditions exist.”

Did the Trucking Company Fulfill Its Duties Regarding Inspection, Repair and Maintenance?

In the course of our investigation, we will want to understand these and all other aspects governing the conduct by the truck company that are applicable to your case.

As an experienced truck accident law firm in St. Louis, we will be there at every step during your case.  We will work tirelessly on your behalf in seeking to prove fault and damages against all of those responsible for your injuries, and to collect the maximum award possible for your injuries.

Please call us so that we can begin our representation in your case. You will not owe us any fees unless we recover for you.  We can meet with you at your convenience, and advise you of your options in seeking recovery, and explain how our firm will work tireless on your behalf to get you the compensation to which you may be entitled.

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