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Why do brakes fail on big trucking rigs

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2023 | Car Accidents |

Most California residents have passed the scene of an accident involving one or more big trucks. The size of these vehicles often makes these mishaps catastrophic, especially when their brakes fail. Brake-related issues are responsible for almost one-third of accidents involving trucks. Why does this happen?

Five underlying causes of failed brakes

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, brakes that are out of adjustment, fail and have other issues are the most common issues involved in truck accidents. Experts attribute most brake issues to these five reasons:

  • Brake depowering
  • No pre-trip inspection
  • Improper loading of the trailer
  • Faulty brakes
  • Bad tires

Maintaining brakes on trucks is expensive, so some trucking companies and independent truckers engage in a dangerous practice called depowering, where they disconnect the cab brakes and rely on the trailer brakes to stop the rig. Another harmful practice is not performing daily brake inspections of brake shows, listening for air leaks and looking for loose components. Not balancing the trailer load can overtax the brakes, causing them to overheat and potentially malfunction. Brakes that fail to meet specific stopping standards. The situation can become dangerous when a truck fails to meet this measure and goes out on the road. Finally, tires must meet federal standards, be properly mounted and inspected regularly to ensure that they have sufficient tread.

Truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries

The combination of high volume, significant weight and malfunctioning brakes can have potentially catastrophic results leading to personal injury and even death, in some cases. Some victims of truck accidents can sustain injuries that take months or years to resolve. Others never fully recover their abilities and remain permanently disabled.

Brake issues can result in severe accidents. Police reports, witnesses and inspections can corroborate possible negligence. Those who believe they have been injured in a truck resident resulting from bad brakes and other factors can file claims in court to request compensation for their injuries. A successful lawsuit can help pay for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.

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