Not all truck accidents are caused by truck driver negligent driving behaviors. Some very tragic wrecks are caused by truck maintenance problems, such as when truck brakes are not maintained and are allowed to fail. The victims—often in passenger vehicles—can suffer life-altering injuries and even death.
How Truck Brake Failure Accidents Occur
The core reason behind many truck failure wrecks is truck driver and trucking company negligence and complete disregard for the safety of people who must share the roads with big-rigs. Common reasons that these accidents occur include:
- Lack of inspection. Truckers are required to conduct pre-trip and post-trip inspections of their trucks—including the brakes—under federal regulations. Trucking companies also have duties under these federal rules to perform regular inspections of their trucks to spot mechanical problems that need repair. When these duties are breached, the trucking company and trucker could face liability in a brake failure wreck.
- Lack of maintenance. While completely irresponsible, a trucking company may choose not to repair a problem with the truck because of the cost or the time the truck will be off the road.
- Glazed brakes. When the brakes become overused or overheated, it can cause them to become glazed where resins and other brake materials melt. The brakes can become too soft and prone to malfunction when the trucker needs them most.
- Depowered brakes. As unbelievable as it sounds, some truck drivers and trucking companies deliberately unhook or depower the front brakes and rely solely on the trailer’s brakes instead. Why do they do this? This can save wear and tear on the brakes and repair and replacement costs—while putting you at risk of being in a catastrophic wreck.
- Defective brakes. Sometimes manufacturing defects in the brakes can cause them to fail. In this situation, the victim could have a products liability claim as well as other claims.
- Improper loading. When the truck’s load is not evenly distributed, it can cause the brakes to overheat and malfunction. Repeated improper loading can result in the brakes becoming glazed.
If the trucker who caused your wreck was unable to slow down or stop, it could have been caused by brake failure. An experienced truck accident attorney can help you prove this and the truck driver’ and trucking company’s responsibility to compensate you for your injuries. Take advantage of our offer of a free consultation and fill out our online form to schedule your appointment to learn how our legal team can assist you.