Federal laws mandate that commercial vehicles in Louisiana and around the country have brakes capable of adequately stopping or holding the vehicle in place. Commercial trucks that have hydraulic brakes that were installed on or after Sept. 2, 1983, must be in compliance with FMVSS No. 105 as of the date that the vehicle was manufactured. If a vehicle has air brakes that were installed after March 1, 1975, it must be in compliance with FMVSS No. 121.
If a bus, truck or trailer is not subject to either FMVSS No. 105 or 121, it must be in compliance with § 393.40(e). In the event that a bus, truck or trailer is not subject to FMVSS No. 121 when it was manufactured, it must comply with requirements in § 393.43. Commercial vehicles that have emergency brakes must have controls that the driver can operate while in a normal seated position.
Furthermore, the emergency brake may be interconnected with either the service brake or the parking brake. However, it is not permitted for all three systems to be interconnected. If a system is interconnected, it must be designed in a manner that will leave the vehicle with working brakes even if the system malfunctions. If the vehicle was manufactured after July 1, 1973, it must also be in compliance with § 393.52(b)
A person who has been rear-ended in a semi-truck crash and who has been injured as a result may want to speak with a personal injury attorney to determine the recourse that may be available. If, after a review of the trucking company maintenance logs and other evidence, the attorney determines that the cause of the accident was faulty brakes, it may be advisable to file a lawsuit against the company seeking compensation for the losses that have been sustained.