Truck drivers log thousands of miles transporting goods across the country each year. To do their job safely, tractor-trailers must be well-maintained. When trucks lack proper upkeep, serious and sometimes fatal truck accidents can occur.
Failing to adhere to federally mandated maintenance requirements jeopardizes everyone’s safety on the road. Improper maintenance plays a role in nearly 40% of truck accidents, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Let’s now take a look at the common causes behind poor maintenance truck accidents and how poor maintenance truck accident lawyers can help.
Brake failure is one of the most common maintenance issues tied to truck crashes. Large rigs weighing tens of thousands of pounds rely on robust braking systems to operate safely. Neglected or defective brakes simply cannot stop a fully loaded truck in time.
Unfortunately, the FMCSA finds brake defects in over 20% of truck inspections. Things like worn brake pads, air leaks, or imbalanced brake drums dramatically reduce braking capacity. Drivers in smaller vehicles around an out-of-control tractor-trailer rarely walk away unscathed after a crash due to these massive size differences.
Truck Tire Blowouts
Commercial truck tires receive a lot of wear and tear. When not properly inflated or routinely changed, blowouts become more likely. Tread separations or sidewall ruptures practically guarantee loss of control when occurring at highway speeds.
Debris scattered across traffic lanes creates hazards for surrounding drivers as well. Pieces of shredded tires ricocheting off windshields or metal rims scraping the pavement wreak havoc. Drivers understandably swerve or slam on brakes in response, often causing chain-reaction collisions.
Broken Truck Lighting
Being visible on the road prevents accidents for truckers and fellow motorists alike. Yet the FMCSA estimates over 20% of inspected trucks have some type of lighting defect. Non-operational headlights, brake lights, or turn signals seriously compromise safety, especially at night or in bad weather.
Smaller vehicles struggle to gauge the position of a partially obscured rig. Truck drivers experience limited rearward visibility when trailer lights malfunction. Sudden braking or lane changes in response further endanger everyone sharing the road. Prompt fixes to any lighting issues drastically improve visibility and accident avoidance.
A smooth ride depends on properly functioning suspension parts like springs, shock absorbers, and bushings. Excessive bounce, swaying, bottoming out, or pulling to one side indicates worn components. Driving a truck with suspension problems seriously impacts handling and stability.
Loose cargo or shifting weight magnify these issues exponentially. A top-heavy tractor-trailer is at high risk for rollovers or jackknifing with compromised suspension. Vehicle inspections must identify problems like cracked springs or leaking shocks before they cause catastrophic wrecks. Regular alignments also help maximize control by keeping tires in proper positions.
How Poor Maintenance Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help
Rigorous truck inspection and maintenance prevents needless injuries and deaths from large vehicle accidents. Drivers have a personal responsibility to perform pre-trip checks and report any defects found immediately. Companies must address problems promptly, removing unsafe trucks from service until all repairs meet federal standards.
However, when poor maintenance does result in a truck accident, injured victims have legal options. Poor Maintenance Truck Accident Lawyers can launch in-depth investigations to uncover maintenance failures. They also know how to calculate and pursue maximum compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain, and suffering. Victims should never have to bear the burdens caused by a trucking company’s negligence.