Schemery Zicolello

Do smaller Pennsylvania trucks have to meet safety standards?

Pennsylvania drivers share the roadways with trucks every day. These trucks are generally busy hauling consumer goods and raw materials to and from the state. Truck drivers are under immense pressure to get this job done quickly and for as little money as possible. This often creates a volatile situation where drivers are overtired, overworked and more willing to cut safety corners. Truck accidents are frequent and deadly in these circumstances.

While people may be aware that there are federal and state laws -- including laws that regulate how often drivers need a break -- that try to prevent truck accidents, they may not know that there are also laws that try to ensure that the trucks themselves are as safe as possible.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles, there are many safety requirements that trucks must meet if they are going to travel on Pennsylvania roadways. For medium and heavy trucks, these rules must be met if the vehicle is going to travel on Pennsylvania highways.

These rules govern nearly every major mechanical system found on a truck, including the trucks' braking system, tires, electrical systems and fuel systems. For example, smaller trucks have to have tires in good working condition. This means that they must have specific types of tires and axles. Additionally, certain types of tires are prohibited under these rules. Pennsylvania's truck safety rules cover even minor mechanical equipment such as odometers, speedometers, windshield washers and defrosters.

These rules ensure that every truck -- not just semi-trucks and trailers -- are safe on Pennsylvania roadways. However, these regulations cannot prevent every accident. When a truck accident occurs because of defective auto parts or negligent truck maintenance, victims should protect their legal rights with the help of an attorney.

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