The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently sponsored a study to investigate the most common causes of trucking accidents. The study found that brake issues account for nearly 30 percent of all commercial truck accidents. Another common cause of accidents and fatalities is defective tires. What makes these findings so tragic is that these problems are easily preventable.
Sometimes, the driver or trucking company is to blame for these issues. Some common errors include the following.
- Deliberate depowering of front brakes: In order to cut costs, owners and operators often either unhook or depower the front breaks. This is done in an attempt to lengthen the life of brakes, but can be extremely dangerous because it forces the driver to rely on downshifting to slow or stop the vehicle.
- Improper brake maintenance: Federal regulations require commercial trucking companies to keep detailed records of required maintenance. Drivers are also legally required to perform daily reports on the conditions of their equipment. As part of these inspections, drivers are supposed to check brake shoes, look for loose brake components, and listen for air leaks in the brake chamber. Often, drivers skip over these checks to save time. And trucking companies often ignore the federal maintenance regulations.
- Improper loading: Uneven distribution of the freight load can cause brakes to overheat and malfunction.
- Defective truck tires: Sometimes, manufacturers sell defective tires. You have probably seen the evidence of tire blowouts on the side of the highway—long strips of thick tire tread. If you were in an accident caused by a blowout, the DOT maintains records of all recalled truck tires.
- Failing to ensure correct tire pressure. Too much or too little tire pressure easily leads to deterioration of tread, which in turn leads to dangerous blowouts.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident in Pennsylvania?
When brakes or tires malfunction, a number of parties can be held liable and ordered to pay compensation to injured victims. Some potentially liable parties include the truck driver and his or her employer, the loading company or individuals who loaded the freight, the owner-operator responsible for maintaining the breaks or tires, and the tire or break manufacturer. A brake or tire recall is strong evidence that the particular components are dangerous and either caused or contributed to the accident.
Pennsylvania Truck Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Zealously Advocate for Victims of Truck Accidents
At McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC, we know how devastating a trucking accident can be to the victims and their families. Our Pennsylvania truck accident lawyers have dedicated themselves to fighting for the victims of trucking accidents, and holding the responsible parties accountable. Because there are so many potentially liable parties in a trucking accident, you need a seasoned team of litigators on your side who know how to identify the responsible party or parties and bring them to justice. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-569-8488 today.