Because motorists in West Virginia and other states often share the road with trucks, the federal government publishes specific guidelines for safe truck operation. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truckers must maintain certain parts and accessories to operate safely, and the rules include explicit details on judging the suitability of different types of equipment.
Federal regulations on brake components make specific mention of the need for all parts to be fabricated, installed and kept in good condition so that they provide smooth, reliable operation when a truck comes to a stop. The rules also state that component installation methods and characteristics should ideally reduce the likelihood of wear or unexpected failures.
When it comes to some parts, like slack adjusters, brake chambers, linings and pads, the rules mention specific dimensional measurements that the components in question should satisfy. For instance, slack adjusters and brake chambers on different ends of the same axle have to be of matched lengths or sizes. Depending on the specific type of axle brakes, linings and pads need to meet certain minimum thicknesses; vehicles whose brake components have worn down past these limits shouldn’t be on the road at all.
When motorists are involved in accidents with commercial trucks, they may suffer serious injuries or property damage. Although many pursue lawsuits and insurance claims to recoup their losses, the circumstances that contributed to their accidents impact whether they’ll receive awards. Some vehicle owners or operating companies may deny responsibility on the grounds that component failures caused the accidents, and victims may have to build their cases by gathering or subpoenaing evidence like operating logs, maintenance histories and whether or not the truckers had ever violated safety laws in the past.