Semi-trucks pose a considerable danger to other road users if they experience a break failure. Their massive size and weight mean they need more time and space than passenger cars require to slow down or come to a stop. So when a truck’s brakes fail, the potential for a catastrophic accident increases dramatically.
The seasoned truck accident attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law have seen the devastating consequences of accidents caused by brake failure. We understand how physically, emotionally, and financially difficult life can be after suffering injuries in one of these collisions. Our lawyers will listen to your story and pursue any claim you may have. We want you to receive full and fair compensation. Contact us today for your free case review to learn how we can help you.
What Is Truck Brake Failure?
A commercial truck’s braking system should be powerful and reliable enough to bring an 80,000-pound vehicle to a complete stop. Brake failure occurs when the system does not function as it should. This problem can happen due to improper maintenance, poor design, or defective parts.
The results of brake failure can be catastrophic and sometimes fatal. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) cites brake failure as one of the top 10 causes of tractor-trailer accidents.
Why Do Truck Brakes Fail?
A truck can experience brake failure for several reasons, including:
When a truck’s braking system is not correctly adjusted, one brake does not exert the same force as another. This imbalance can happen due to problems with the pneumatic system that applies air pressure to the brakes. Brake imbalances can often lead to jackknife accidents.
When truck brakes overheat, they operate less efficiently. As a result, truck drivers may experience brake fade and need more time and stopping distance to bring the big rig to a stop. In addition, improper maintenance and aggressive driving may cause overheated brakes.
Misconfigurations in the suspension system can cause the same problems as brake imbalances. Faulty suspension can stress the brakes unnecessarily, reducing the driver’s ability to control the vehicle’s speed.
The greater a truck’s weight, the more work its braking system must do to bring it to a stop. The FMSCA enforces maximum weight regulations for this reason. Overloading a truck, even on a single occasion, can strain its brakes enough to cause failure.
Brake Tube Chafing or Kinking
Air brakes require the pneumatic tubes to be clear if the system is to function correctly. The brakes can fail if a rubber or thermoplastic hose becomes kinked.
The various components of a braking system require lubrication before and after a harsh winter. A lack of adequate lubrication can accelerate the wear and tear on a truck’s brakes.