Truck accidents often occur because the parts in the truck are not in proper working order. Laws and regulations in place require trucking companies to maintain their vehicles, conduct thorough inspections, and ensure that vehicles are safe before they get on the road. Sadly, this is not the case. Often times, truck companies make a deliberate choice to skip inspections and perform fix ups in order to finish deliveries on time or they may take on more deliveries than they can safely handle. When these companies choose to bypass safety regulations for personal gain, it the safety of everyone who shares the road with these large vehicles that’s threatened. Imagine losing a loved one because a defective truck that should have been pulled off the road simply wasn’t.
There are several factors that make a truck defective and lead to crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) studies truck safety and the causes of truck accidents. They found among the most common causes of vehicle-related accidents are:
- Brake Problems
Federal regulations allow trucks carrying cargo to weigh up to 80,000 pounds. When trucks are required to brakes, trucks can take over 20-times the stopping distance as a car. When required to brake suddenly, this weight may be too much and overpower the ability to stop when needed.
Add to these risks brakes that are not inspected thoroughly, even after long stretches of driving, and truck crashes become likely. FMCSA’s study on truck crashes revealed brake failures account for 29% of truck accidents. Imagine 29% of truck accident injuries and fatalities as avoidable if truck companies routinely maintain the brakes on their vehicles.
- Tire Problems
FMSCA has specific regulations in place to help avoid truck accidents caused by tire problems. These standards require trucks’ tire treads to have a certain depth and quality, which vary based on the tire’s location on the truck. For example, while rear tires may be slightly worn – or even re-capped or re-treaded to save money – front steering tires must be new and in good quality.
Therefore, many trucking companies re-cap or re-tread tires rather than purchase new, expensive ones. This factor, along with improper or uneven tire wear or tire pressure, can cause the tires to heat up and shed layers. When layers break off a truck at highway speeds, they can cause the trucker or other drivers to swerve in reaction. If tires burst altogether, truckers can lose control. The accidents that results from these causes are oftentimes deadly.
- Cargo Shift
Cargo is required to be secured and evenly load as per FMCSA’s rules. As the truck travels down a road, internal shifting of the cargo can seriously effect the truck’s overall stability. For example, if cargo is loaded too far back in trailer, or too high up, the trailer might not move as per the driver’s expectations. The results can be disastrous, especially during tight turns or emergency maneuvers. As a result, the truck driver could lose control of the entire vehicle, causing injury to himself and to many other drivers around him.
At the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd., our truck accident attorneys in Chicago are familiar with the tactics truck and insurance companies use to avoid responsibility. If your loved one was harmed in a truck accident caused by vehicle failure, know that there are options for you. With over 50 years of combined experience and millions recovered in verdicts and settlements, our truck accident lawyers in Chicago are here for you. Call us at 1-312-384-1920 or 1-800-693-1LAW or reach us by email.