Last time, we began looking at the topic of commercial vehicle maintenance, pointing out some of the general requirements for vehicle maintenance at both the state and federal level. As we left of saying, the requirements from the state of New York are essentially the same as the federal requirements.
When inspectors check out a vehicle for purposes of compliance, there are a lot of areas they inspect to ensure a vehicle is in safe operate condition. This includes checking on matters related to the transportation of hazardous materials, checking a vehicle’s fuel and braking systems, lighting, steering, coupling devices, suspension, tires and wheels, windshield wipers, mirrors, horns, exhaust, emergency equipment, and other areas.
Laxity in complying with safety rules, of course, is not a good idea for commercial vehicle operators. Doing so is not only bad for business, but can also lead to civil penalties and tort liability. An accident victim, or his or her survivors, may use failure to comply with vehicle safety regulations to establish liability at trial. Liability, as we’ve mentioned before, can be based on any failure to carry out some legal duty, including vehicle maintenance rules, traffic rules, or the general duty to exercise reasonable care in operating a motor vehicle.