No one would dispute the importance of properly working brakes on a big-rig truck. Even when the brakes are in good condition, a truck wreck can cause devastating injuries and deaths due to the massive size and weight of the truck. When the brakes malfunction, a truck driver loses all ability to control the truck, making a catastrophic accident much more likely.
Causes of Truck Brake Failure That Result in Accidents
Unfortunately, brake failure and other problems with the truck’s braking system are an all-too common cause of truck wrecks. Some of the reasons for brake issues include:
- Depowered brakes. Some trucking companies deliberately depower or unhook the truck’s brakes, leaving the trucker with only the trailer brakes and downshifting to stop or slow down the truck. Companies do this to save on the wear and tear on the truck brakes, sacrificing safety to save money.
- Failure to inspect. Truck drivers are required to conduct a pre-trip and post-trip inspection of their trucks under federal regulations to identify any repair problems. They are supposed to inspect the brake shoes to be sure they are working properly and that there are no broken parts. In addition, they should check for loose brake components and listen for air leaks in the brake chamber. When they fail to conduct these inspections or ignore the results, brake failure and a tragic crash are the likely consequence.
- Failure to maintain. When the trucking company fails to do regular maintenance on the brakes and replace them when necessary, the brakes will not work properly when they are most needed by a trucker.
- Overheating. Overheating of the brakes is a common problem that can lead to the brakes becoming glazed. When this occurs, materials used to make the brake pads begin to melt, hardening the brake pads and making the braking system much less effective.
- Improper loading. Improper loading of the truck can put strain on the brakes, which can cause them to overheat and malfunction.
- Defective brakes. When manufacturing defects cause a truck’s brakes to malfunction, the brake manufacturer may face liability to the victims of a crash.
An experienced truck wreck attorney can send the trucking company a spoliation letter to preserve vital documents you could need to prove that brake problems caused your crash. To find out how our legal team can help you obtain the compensation you deserve, contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation. We help injured victims throughout Texas including Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between.