“An average of over 300,000 accidents involving large trucks occur annually” according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA). Because of their tremendous size and weight, transport and tanker trucks cause more serious injury when involved in accidents. With the increased risk these vehicles pose to other motorists, the entire trucking industry is tightly regulated by law at several governmental levels. These regulations concern issues ranging from vehicle visibility and signage requirements to minimal standards for licensing the drivers, and most importantly, clear rules regarding truck maintenance and vehicle safety standards.
Unfortunately these regulations are not always followed to the tee, and sometimes even neglected completely, resulting in disastrous consequences. The reality is that noncompliance with federal or state regulations will often suffice in establishing legal liability in the event of an accident. Google “vehicle accidents” and you will see the lots of corroborating statistics from the top injury lawyers and insurance companies. However, they are also a wealth of information on how to prevent accidents to happen; offering advice on everything from driver behaviour improvement to preventive maintenance software.
Driving Safety With Simple Ideas
By federal law, the top practice for regulating truck maintenance is a requirement that vehicles undergo periodic inspections and pre-trip checks. The common use of fleet management systems (FMS) today has resulted in more precise data sets on maintenance issues. Collaboration between fleet companies and the vehicle manufacturers has only increased the reliability of available preventive maintenance programs. It has also made the consequences of neglecting these programs very clear.
Despite this increased clarity, the fact remains that these fleet vehicles are often driven over 160,000 km (100K miles) per year, resulting in significantly increased wear and tear. The reality is that truck maintenance issues are a common problem, and some drivers and/or trucking companies may give in to the temptation of neglecting it in order to cut corners that save on short-term operating costs and push on-time deliveries. Unfortunately, poor truck maintenance often results in what could have been a preventable injury-causing accident. Paying attention to the warnings from your on-board computer is the least you can do; having those warnings relayed in real time to your fleet manager through a vehicle data unit (VDU) integrated FMS is much better.
Some of the more common equipment issues negatively impacting the driver’s reactions and ability to avoid accidents include the following:
- Tire blowouts
- Brake failures
- Steering failures
- Horn problems
- Couple device failures
- Broken or missing mirrors
- Light failures or missing reflectors
- Faulty windshield wipers
- Stability system failures
- Parking brake failures
With nearly limitless ways in which truck accidents could be caused by poor maintenance, you may want to get some professional advice and reach out to your insurance company for help spotting additional issues not already on this list. Or you can contact our support team to discuss some of the challenges you may be facing and together we can find a solution that works for you. At Coencorp, we have been helping our clients keep their fleets safe and in top condition for 30 years. Contact us at 1-866-263-6267 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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