Cubbon & Associates
Brake problems are a major cause of serious truck accidents
It is often the case that the deadliest crashes on U.S. roads are also the most easily preventable. Tractor-trailer accidents, which are likely to be highly injurious or fatal for occupants of smaller vehicles, are frequently caused by issues with truck brakes.
In some cases, the brakes do not function properly because the driver or the trucking company failed to regularly inspect and repair worn-out brakes. In other cases, there are performance issues that can be traced back to the manufacturer. Recently, Volvo Trucks North America issued a recall of more than 6,000 commercial trucks over problems with electric air dryers that could decrease brake performance in cold weather (like winters here in Ohio).
These Volvo trucks use electric air dryers to keep brake systems clean and warm in cold weather. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recall is necessary because the air dryers were set incorrectly and are therefore underpowered. This can lead to a contamination of the brake system and reduce its reliability and performance.
Volvo tends to have a better safety record than other vehicle manufacturers, and the fix for these trucks is as simple as replacing air dryer filters and reprogramming some software. But this is nonetheless an example showing the importance of maintaining braking systems on large, commercial vehicles.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, large trucks require much longer stopping distances than smaller passenger vehicles do. The disparity is even greater on slippery or wet roads. Therefore, it is imperative that truck braking systems are checked often and repaired as soon as problems are discovered.
If you or a family member has been seriously injured (or worse) in an accident with a large truck, faulty brakes are just one of many potential causes that need to be investigated. To learn more, please discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney.