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TN 18 Wheeler Inspection Repair Maintenance

The Importance of Repair and Maintenance in Avoiding 18-Wheeler Accidents in Tennessee

Most truckers are professional drivers operating and maintaining their rigs in a manner that honors their profession. Unfortunately, as any 18-wheeler accident attorney in Tennessee can tell you, some do not drive and maintain their vehicles, evidenced by the number and severity of Tennessee 18-wheeler accidents. According to state government statistics, Tennessee saw nearly 1,800 large truck accidents that resulted in fatalities between 1994 and 2007.

Avoiding 18-wheeler accidents in Tennessee

Driving professionally, in a manner than avoids truck accidents, requires truck drivers to do at least two things very well:

  • Drive in a safe manner
  • Maintain their vehicles in a safe condition

Here, we look at what truckers must do to keep their rigs operationally sound. For truckers and their trucking companies who ignore this maintenance, the cost is high. The number of accidents related to equipment and other defects is consistently more than 2,000 per year, and growing:

  • 2003: 2,209
  • 2004: 2,211
  • 2005: 2,398
  • 2006: 2,721
  • 2007: 2,753

A 2006 – 2007 compilation by the Tennessee government revealed that the leading vehicle defects involved in Tennessee truck accidents were problems with:

  • Wheels/tires
  • Truck body/doors/hood
  • Safety belts
  • Signal lights
  • Brake systems
  • Trailer hitch

All of these defects are items that should have been identified long before they resulted in a Tennessee 18-wheeler accident, because drivers are required by law to maintain a trucker’s travel log, which has strict requirements for pre-trip inspections.

The Tennessee commercial driver license (CDL) manual goes into great detail on what must be included in the driver log. In fact, the manual dedicates eight full pages of the CDL manual to just the driver log, including:

  • Engine compartment (over 20 procedural steps)
  • Cab check/engine start (over 46 steps)
  • External inspection (over 55 steps)

Any truck driver who diligently follows the inspection procedures which includes repairs and maintenance verification steps will likely not be the cause of a maintenance-related truck accident.  To confirm that the truck is in safe operating condition, the driver must start each pre-trip inspection by reviewing the previous vehicle inspection logs.

  • If anything is marked for repair, the trucker double-checks to verify that the repair was performed.
  • If maintenance and repair steps are not up to date, the driver is responsible for making sure these steps are taken before heading out onto the highway, where improper maintenance too often leads to an avoidable 18-wheeler accident in Tennessee.

18-wheeler accident lawyer in Tennessee
Because not all truckers follow maintenance, repair, and safety standards, as mandated by the Tennessee commercial driver license manual and by the standards set forth in the federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act, you may find yourself in an accident with a poorly maintained tractor-trailer.

For injuries or wrongful death claims against negligent truckers or trucking companies, contact The Sexton Law Firm or call at (865) 691-7900. We have years of experience and can help you litigate your truck accident lawsuit in Tennessee.