A recent investigation revealed that trucks in Massachusetts may not be living up to safety standards. Truck safety is a serious issue and Massachusetts has experienced several serious truck accidents over the past year. One accident that occurred earlier this year is still being investigated to determine why a tractor trailer that rear-ended a taxi, causing the driver’s death, did not avoid the vehicle.

An investigation into federal trucking records found serious safety hazards amongst Massachusetts’ truck violations. Violations included faulty brakes, missing turn signals, unsecured cargo and drivers with suspended licenses, as well as other violations.

While federal records show that Massachusetts may have a high number of unsafe trucks, officials also note that because of dedicated enforcement, many violations are caught. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the rate of serious mechanical violations on trucks in Massachusetts over the past five years is 41 percent greater than the national average. In addition, driver violations are 32 percent higher in Massachusetts than the national average.

Many people may at times feel uneasy about sharing the roadways with large trucks. Because of the obvious size disparity between tractor trailers and passenger vehicles, severe consequences can result from a trucking accident. When a semi-truck accident has resulted in serious injuries or death, violations of federal trucking regulations may establish the liability of a truck driver and truck company. Violations of federal trucking regulations, as well as negligent truck maintenance, defective auto parts, an unqualified truck driver or other violations, sometimes found in a trucking log, may all establish that the truck driver or trucking company were negligent.

When a victim has been harmed by the negligence of either a truck driver or a trucking company, it may be possible to recover compensation for damages. If a party has failed to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of individuals sharing the roadways, that party is accountable for damages to victims who are harmed.

Source: CBS Boston, “I-Team: Unsafe Trucks On Mass. Roadways,” Joe Shortsleeve, May 13, 2014