Under the best circumstances, large trucks don’t stop on a dime. They can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, so braking ability is essential for the safety of truck drivers and other motorists and roadway users. In addition to safely and lawfully maintaining brakes, drivers need to utilize proper braking techniques and make sure they have adequate stopping distance between their truck and the vehicle in front of them. Truck drivers and trucking companies owe other motorists and roadway users a duty of care, and that means their trucks need to be safely maintained and operated within the limits of the law. In the event of a roadway emergency, truck drivers need to be able to stop safely, and without endangering any other motorists.Poorly Maintained Brakes
Just like in smaller passenger occupant vehicles, properly scheduled brake maintenance is critical for the safe operation of large commercial trucks. Unlike some other types of services, like oil changes, the maintenance of brakes directly impacts a truck’s ability to safely operate on the road. Getting brakes serviced and having older or worn parts replaced on a routine basis is important for ensuring truck drivers have the ability to brake, when necessary. Failure to inspect and maintain brakes on a regular basis is an egregious breach to the duty of care that truck drivers and commercial trucking companies owe other drivers on the road.Braking Failure
What happens when brakes aren’t properly maintained? They fail and can cause serious, catastrophic and fatal accidents. Brake related issues are one of the most common mechanical failures associated with truck accidents on U.S. roadways. Sadly, many of these injury-causing and fatal crashes were totally preventable with proper brake maintenance. Brake failure, like many other mechanical failures, are often the result of negligence on the part of the driver, owner or operator due to a lack of proper inspection and maintenance of the vehicle.Overloaded Trucks
Overloading can also severely impact a truck’s ability to brake properly. Since overloading might not be immediately apparent after a truck accident, it’s essential to get an experienced truck accident attorney on the case as soon as possible. It may take additional investigative efforts to determine if a truck’s loading was a contributing or causing factor of a brake failure.Improper Braking Techniques
Truck drivers are supposed to learn proper and safe braking techniques at school, prior to getting their licenses, but not everybody adheres to safe standards in the real world. If truck drivers aren’t practicing safe braking techniques, they’re putting lives at risk. Improper braking techniques can lead to dangerous rear-end accidents and multi-vehicle collisions.Inadequate Stopping Distance
Another problem we see frequently in cases involving truck braking abilities is inadequate stopping distance. If you’ve ever been tail-gated by a big rig, you know how unnerving and dangerous this scenario can be. We all know that even under the best conditions, trucks can’t stop on a dime, but what if drivers are driving aggressively and not leaving adequate stopping distance between their rigs and the cars in front of them? Trucks need more space than smaller passenger vehicles to stop, especially in the event of an emergency, and truck drivers should be allowing adequate stopping distance to prevent potential accidents from occurring.Speed And Braking Ability
Another contributing factor in braking ability crashes is speed. Trucks that are exceeding the speed limit or traveling too fast for conditions are also severely impacting their ability to safely brake. It goes without saying that truck drivers should never be speeding, but it’s quite common in the industry, especially with deadlines and hours of service regulations. Commercial trucking companies will push drivers to the limit in order to save money and get more goods moved more swiftly. Unfortunately, in many cases, profits are put over safety, and truck drivers who speed are endangering the lives of others, real time.When to Call a Jackson Truck Accident Lawyer
If your have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in an accident involving a big rig, you need to speak with a skilled truck accident attorney as soon as possible about your options. Recovering from a truck accident can take time, and victims are often in the hospital and out of work for an extended period of time. Medical bills, lost wages, and a damaged or destroyed car can really weigh on the budget, especially if insurance companies are being less than supportive and easy to deal with.
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a truck accident, contact the skilled and proven legal team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a free consultation.