Not only does the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulate rules and standards for interstate (between states) motor carriers, it also encourages individual states to adopt the same regulations for intrastate (within one state) carrier rules. Georgia has done just that. Specifically, Georgia enforces the maintenance rules that the FMCSA mandates for the entire nation. Although truck accident injuries have decreased nationwide since 2012, maintenance regulations and inspections can help further safety on the road.
The FMCSA’s Maintenance Regulations
The FMCSA regulations for driver qualifications, hours of service, and maintenance apply to all employers, employees, and contractors in both interstate and intrastate trucking industries. For this reason, all trucking companies must:
- Maintain vehicles in good working order. This includes ensuring that breaks, fluids and fuel systems, tires and rims, axels, towing devices, dash meter and warning systems, safety push-out windows, suspension systems, safety equipment, and steering systems are all in safe condition.
- Maintain pre-trip and post-trip driver inspection reports. Before a driver begins a haul, he must first complete a safety checklist, which includes ensuring the working condition of truck and trailer brakes connections, emergency brakes, steering systems, lights and reflectors, tires and rims, the horn, the windshield wipers, mirrors, and coupling devices. Additionally, the driver must prepare a report stating that he is satisfied with the truck’s condition before and after a haul, and this report will stay on file for three months or more.
- Inspect vehicles periodically. At least once a year, a truck must undergo an exhaustive inspection by a certified, qualified inspector. If the inspector finds that the truck needs maintenance or repair, those specifications appear on the report, and a copy is kept in the truck.
- Maintain repair records and inspection reports. These reports must identify who made repairs, who conducted inspections, who operated the vehicle, the dates of inspections, the vehicle inspected, what was inspected, and the verified completeness of all required regulations.
These maintenance regulations are federally mandated and adopted by the state of Georgia for a reason—to help keep the roads safe. Trucking companies have a duty to maintain safe vehicles, and failing to follow all maintenance checks and repair standards may cause a serious accident. In this case, the trucking company or driver may be held liable for injuries and damages.
Get Help With Your Truck Accident Case
If you were injured in a truck accident and believe faulty maintenance may be to blame, you need the advice of an experienced lawyer. The team at Duffy & Feemster can help you navigate the injury claim process and get you closer to fair compensation. To speak with a member of our team, start a live online chat on our website.