Regular Maintenance of Commercial Motor Vehicles is Critical to Highway Safety

As professional lawyers well versed in personal injury law, the legal team at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, understands how upsetting any car, truck or motorcycle accident can be, not only to the victims, but also to their families. There is nothing subtle about a high-speed trucking accident on the beltway, interstate of multi-lane highway. The sudden and violent impact between a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and a much smaller passenger car can leave a haunting memory for those involved, and our staff is trained to help those victims recover from the physical and emotional scars of negligent trucking accidents.

With the hundreds of thousands of highway wrecks that take place each year all across the U.S., there are few individuals who don’t know of someone who has been affected by a serious car, truck or motorcycle collision. Commercial trucking collisions, sometimes more than car or motorcycle crashes, make for some of the more severe bodily injuries, if only due to the extreme size and weight differential between large trucks and smaller passenger vehicles.

While many people may find themselves affected in some way -- either as an injured party or a concerned family member of a traffic accident victim -- by some kind of traffic accident, fewer will actually know the pain, discomfort and possible chronic physical conditions that make everyday life difficult, if not unbearable at times.

As Baltimore automobile and commercial truck accident lawyers, the legal staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen appreciates the potential for severe bodily injury that a trucking-related beltway collision poses for those innocent victims involved in such awful events. The sad truth is that a significant percentage of commercial trucking collisions could have been avoided if it wasn’t for the negligence of the driver or a third party. Amazingly, many of these CMV-related wrecks may be caused by sloppy maintenance procedures or even the lack of proper repair or upkeep. Poor vehicle maintenance or outright neglect of a commercial truck’s mechanical systems can lead to a critical failure on the road, which in turn can inflict serious injuries to innocent victims.

There is much to be said about the importance that commercial truck maintenance has on the overall safety of the driving public, not to mention the truckers who operate those large and imposing vehicles on Maryland and Washington, D.C., roadways. Injuries caused by failed truck parts or components resulting from improper maintenance or neglect can be just as painful -- or fatal -- as those arising from a crash caused by commercial trucker’s careless actions.

Where vehicle maintenance is concerned, the rules and regulations concerning commercial trucking fleets make it imperative to consult an experienced personal injury attorney when an accident victim suspects that the crash may have resulted from improper procedures or lax service practices. Truck drivers and commercial fleet owners should be well aware that certain critical parts and components require attention from time to time. These items, which include brakes, tires, steering components and even lighting systems -- should always be checked and serviced at regular intervals; certainly they should never be ignored, especially where safety is a factor.

One common problem area, which is also critical safety item, involves a commercial truck’s tires. Too many fatal trucking crashes have been caused by the catastrophic failure of one or more semi tractor-trailer tires. Excessive high-mileage wear, sidewall cracking due to ozone and bald treads can all result in a beltway or interstate traffic accident affecting one or more passenger cars. Tires that are under-inflated -- or even over-inflated -- can cause trouble not only for the driver of the CMV, but also for those motorists traveling near the vehicle when a tire failure takes place.

Similarly, CMV braking systems are just as critical, since these huge motor vehicles often weigh 15 to 20 times that of a typical passenger car. Being able to effectively stop the forward motion of a 50,000-pound 18-wheeler can make the difference between life and death of the innocent occupants riding in a family minivan or SUV. If it can be proven that the trucker or fleet operator ignored signs of brake failure or serious wear, the chances of a favorable settlement in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit may be greater.

The same can be said for other safety-critical vehicle mechanical systems. Areas such as the CMV’s steering controls or suspension system should be maintained correctly to assure safe vehicle operation. Excessive vibration, higher than normal steering effort, or loose steering feel are all possible signs of steering system problems that may lead to loss of vehicle directional control leading to a traffic collision.

For those instances where lax CMV maintenance procedures may have played a part in a serious commercial trucking injury accident, it may be advisable to contact a Maryland personal injury attorney to discuss one’s case. The professionals at Lebowitz & Mzhen understand that defective vehicle equipment or improper truck maintenance procedures can point to negligence on the trucker or fleet owner’s part. In those cases where serious bodily injury has resulted, requiring long-term hospitalization or extended nursing care, it is always wise to consult a professional trucking accident lawyer.

If you suspect negligence was involved in some way, we recommend that you call our offices for a one-on-one consultation with our qualified personal injury team. The attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen are willing and able to assist victims and their families recover damages following a serious commercial trucking accident. We can discuss the details of your case and provide legal guidance that may lead to a favorable outcome of your personal injury claim. Please call us, toll-free, at (800)-654-1949; or, you may email Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen to set up a time for a no-obligation legal consult.