Tractor trailers, due to their heaviness, are safer for their occupants but more hazardous for the rest of us. In the US, each year, there are around 500,000 trucking accidents, and about 5,000 people die in them. While some of these accidents are caused by errors truck drivers make, many of the accidents are caused by trucks’ mechanical failures. What are the two most common failures that lead to accidents?
In 2010, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute conducted research with the goal of determining the statistical association between the mechanical condition of large trucks and those trucks getting into accidents. The research used a large set of data from the US government’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS), which provided a “critical reason” variable (a variable that records the specific driver, vehicle, or environmental reason for the precipitating event in the accident). The trucks in the data set were all in a truck accident. Inspection results were available for 1,001 of the 1,123 medium and heavy trucks in the LTCCS crash file. The researchers examined those 1,001 trucks.
Notably, the researchers found that over one third of the trucks involved in the study would have been placed out of service had they been inspected prior to the crash.
Because a faulty braking system may weaken a driver’s efforts to stop or slow down to avoid a crash, it may not surprise you to learn that the brake system accounts for the highest percentage of out-of-service vehicle conditions. (Out-of-service condition are certain violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that must be corrected before the truck may be driven.)
When brakes stop working, the consequences may be catastrophic. If you have been injured in an accident involving brake failure, get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible.
Falling far behind braking systems, lighting system issues (e.g., issues involving head lamps, marker and identification lights, tail lamps, etc.) account for the second highest percentage of out-of-service conditions.
Other Mechanical Issues Worth Noting
Other mechanical issues that lead to accidents include issues with
- coupling, and
- cargo securement.
If you’ve been in a truck accident, your accident may have been the result of driver negligence, but it also may have been the result of a mechanical condition. My firm can review your case and help you determine the specific causes and the parties that may be liable. I encourage you to contact me today. I can answer your legal questions and would love to talk with you. You can reach me at 410-513-9978 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.