Improper truck maintenance can significantly contribute to commercial truck accidents on the road. There are standards and requirements in place regarding how a big rig must be inspected, maintained and repaired. The failure to adequately maintain a commercial truck could lead to various mechanical failures and breakdowns that compromise the safety of the vehicle.
Due to their large size and heavy weight, trucks use air brake systems to help them come to a stop. Every component of the brake system needs to be in proper working condition for safe drives. Worn-out, broken or nonfunctional brakes can lead to a dangerous runaway truck. If the brakes in a truck fail during a drive, the truck driver may cause a rear-end collision or override accident, which occurs when a semi-truck drives up and over a smaller passenger car.
A tire blowout is when a worn-out, torn, cracked, flat or improperly inflated tire explodes or pops suddenly rather than leaking air slowly. A tire blowout can lead to a loss of vehicle control and a truck accident. In some cases, a tire blowout can also “trip” a truck and cause a rollover accident. Tire blowouts can generally be prevented with proper 18-wheeler maintenance and regular tire inspections, as well as promptly replacing worn-out or punctured tires.
Faulty Lights and Signals
A truck’s lights and signals are important for informing surrounding drivers of a truck driver’s intent. If a truck driver needs to change lanes, for example, a turn signal warns other drivers to avoid the destination lane. Working brake lights and taillights help prevent rear-end collisions with the trailer of a truck. If a poorly maintained truck has nonfunctioning lights – including brake lights, turn signals and headlights – this can reduce the visibility of the truck to other drivers and increase the risk of accidents.
Trailer Connection Failures
Linkage and connection issues could lead to a trailer becoming disconnected from the cab of a large truck during a drive. If a trailer hitch comes loose and there are no truck inspections to catch this issue, it could lead to a separation and trailer detachment in the middle of a drive. This can cause a hazardous situation where the detached trailer hits oncoming drivers.
Steering system problems and failures can result in a truck driver being unable to steer the truck and a loss of vehicle control. At high speeds or around corners, steering failures can cause serious truck accidents due to the inability to maneuver the truck. Transmission problems can also lead to a loss of power or unexpected shifting, which can be dangerous and lead to a loss of vehicle control.
Who Is Liable for Improper Truck Maintenance Accidents?
Every part and component of a tractor-trailer should be in proper working condition and inspected regularly to ensure the safety of the truck. Large trucks are often under a lot of strain due to the weight of the loads they carry and long drives. This can cause expedited wear and tear and the need for frequent repairs and replacements. Unfortunately, truck maintenance costs money that digs into a trucking company’s bottom line. This increases the odds of ignored maintenance needs and truck equipment breakdowns.
If improper truck maintenance causes or contributes to a truck accident in Colorado, the party responsible for vehicle maintenance could be held liable. A Denver truck accident attorney can investigate your case to determine who is responsible for a dangerous maintenance lapse. Then, your attorney can collect evidence to present to an insurance company, judge or jury on your behalf in pursuit of fair compensation for your losses.