Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Mechanical Failures
If you’ve been in an accident caused by an 18-wheeler, the truck company will often act as if the truck was in perfect condition when the accident occurred. In fact, most of these types of collisions are caused by mechanical failures in big rigs. Research done by the University of Michigan states that 30% of accidents involving 18-wheelers include trucks that had at least one mechanical problem that should have kept them off the road.
The most common areas for trucks to have mechanical failures include:
- Since 18-wheelers are so big and heavy, it’s crucial that the brakes be kept in good repair. If the brakes fail, the truck can slam into other vehicles or careen down a steep road. This is why so many highways with significant downhill areas have truck escape ramps.
- Many drivers are careful and responsible with their driving, but a failure in the steering of the truck itself can lead to disaster.
- Tire blowouts or loss. When a tire blows out – or actually falls off – the truck becomes difficult or impossible to control. It’s possible for these things to happen out of nowhere, but more often tire problems occur because the tires are old or retreaded.
- Malfunctioning lights. From headlights to brake lights, it’s important for other drivers to be able to see where a truck is and what it’s doing. It’s difficult to tell if a big rig is slowing down without its brake lights, for example; without headlights, the truck can be almost impossible to see at night. It’s crucial that all lights on a truck be kept in good repair.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 4400 accidents involving big trucks occurred in 2016 (the most recent data). This is an increase over 2015 of 2%. Federal regulations require trucking companies to complete regular maintenance on their big rig fleets and to document that maintenance every 30 days.
If you have been in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, you need an experienced lawyer to help you collect the damages to which you may be entitled.
At Berenson Injury Law, we know that no trucking company will admit fault in an accident; we know how to help you prove your claim and get you the help you need. As lawyers experienced in this area, we can help you get maintenance records to prove your case.
Contact us today to get started.