With the constant stop-and-go traffic of Orange County, most drivers find themselves replacing worn-out brakes more often than they’d like to. Keeping your car in safe operating condition can be both expensive and inconvenient, but the risks you take by avoiding maintenance are simply not worth it. Failure to repair and maintain your car can greatly increase your chances of a serious accident.
As you can imagine, the problem is even worse for commercial truck drivers. These vehicles are much larger and heavier than regular passenger cars and they spend a lot more time on the road. When trucking companies and their drivers fail to maintain their vehicles, they pose a danger to everyone else on the road.
Failure to maintain and repair truck brakes is deadly
Sadly, maintenance issues are a frequent cause of trucking accidents that lead to serious injury and death for occupants of smaller vehicles. And one of the biggest culprits is worn-out brakes. The website for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety cites a trucking accident study that took place between 2010 and 2012. Researchers found that among all the truck accidents they examined, 42 percent involved brake defects. The same study found that trucks with any vehicle defect were at a 200-percent higher risk of a crash.
Other maintenance and repair issues common in trucks
In addition to issues with worn-out brakes, trucks also commonly experience:
- Tire blowouts related to overuse and failure to change tires regularly
- Trailer hitch issues that could lead the trailer to detach while the vehicle is moving
- Broken or burned-out turn signals, headlights and other visual safety gear
- Suspension problems that increase the risk of an accident when taking sharp corners
- Malfunctioning or broken safety straps that allow heavy cargo to come loose and either unbalance the truck or spill onto the roadway
It’s important to remember that commercial truck drivers (and companies) are responsible for undergoing regular vehicle inspections and fixing problems as soon as they are discovered. Unfortunately, some trucking companies/drivers either skip inspections or fail to make repairs in order to save time and money. These are the likeliest drivers to cause a maintenance-related accident.
The next time you hear your brakes start to squeal, please remember to get them checked out and, if necessary, repaired. And if you were seriously injured in an accident caused by another driver’s failure to maintain their vehicle, please speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about your rights and legal options.