Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Federal and local regulations require that the cars and trucks on our roads meet certain minimum safety standards. Computer-aided design intends to make new vehicles safe, the government recalls vehicle models found to be unsafe, and periodic inspections are designed to ensure that individual vehicles that have become unsafe are not allowed on the roads. But in practice, our Houston truck accident lawyers realize that this system doesn’t always work perfectly. There are still several areas on a car or truck where things typically go wrong. Tire blowouts or tread separations, steering or suspension failures, and brake failures can all lead to catastrophic wrecks.
Newer trucks generally have anti-lock brakes or ABS systems to prevent the wheels from locking up during emergency braking. Sudden braking can lead to jackknife accidents for instance. But some truckers have been known to disable the ant-lock brake system. Disc braking systems are more effective than drum braking systems, which fade or become less effective when hot. Dual-circuit braking systems can also prevent wrecks caused by brake failure: if one circuit fails, the remaining circuit might stop a vehicle.
Tires, which have a relatively small contact point with the road in relation to the heavy cargo loads they bear, should be frequently inspected and carefully maintained by truck owners and trucking companies. Especially in hot and sunny climates, tires can age and wear very quickly. But for some reason, the tires seem to be one of the areas where vehicle owners most frequently cut corners on maintenance.
Under inflation, over inflation, failure to maintain, uneven wear caused by failure to rotate tires, tire aging, and inherent defects that lead to blowouts and tread separation, misalignment, and improper suspension can all lead to sudden tire failure. In the event of a tire failure, a driver can easily lose control of the truck as it veers to one side resulting in a disastrous wreck. Our Houston truck accident lawyers can’t overemphasize the need to properly and regularly inspect and maintain the tires.
Steering and Suspension
The steering and suspension systems are essential to maintaining vehicle control, stability, and proper contact with the road. If the steering or suspension fails, particularly at the highway speeds where truckers frequently find themselves, the resulting wreck could be deadly. Regular inspection and maintenance of the truck’s steering and suspension systems is essential and could save lives.
Regular, adequate maintenance is one key to preventing equipment failures. Different makes and models have differing maintenance schedules. The truck owner or trucking company should always be sure to follow manufacturers’ recommendations regarding vehicle and equipment maintenance. And always err on the side of caution. More frequent inspection and maintenance can’t hurt.
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If you have questions about your specific accident, don’t hesitate to contact the Houston truck accident lawyers at Denena Points, PC for a free and confidential consultation. You have no obligation to hire an attorney. And our knowledge and experience could help guide you in making informed decisions for yourself and your family after a serious truck accident injury. Call us today at 281-369-4363 or fill out our online contact form. We’re here to help.