Defective Truck Equipment and Improper Load Size

Across the country and throughout the 24-hour day, large tractor-trailers are traveling on highways and roads from coast to coast on a daily basis. Consequently, truck drivers, on average, travel more miles and are involved in more collisions than automobiles. When you consider that the maximum weight allowed on the interstate highway for tractor-trailers is generally 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight and that such trucks are rattling down the road at excessive speeds, the idea of defective equipment (i.e. brakes) or improper load size is a scary thought.

A 2007 Large Truck Crash Causation Study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that the top factor associated in large truck crashes were brake problems, a form of defective truck equipment. In fact, this factor accounted for 29 percent (or roughly 41,000 truck crashes) of all large truck crashes studied. The second highest defective truck equipment factor were tire problems, which accounted for 6 percent or 6,000 truck crashes. For this fact, we need to examine brake problems in detail.

It is not uncommon for a truck driver to blame faulty brakes or faulty brake systems for the cause of the crash in order to shift blame from the failure of the driver to the failure of the truck. In theory, this argument assumes that the brake system failed simultaneously to cause the crash. In reality, a complete failure of the truck braking system is extremely rare. The conclusion is that the brake failure is not necessarily due to a system failure as it is the faulty maintenance of the brakes by the truck driver and/or trucking company.

Faulty maintenance can result in brake imbalance where the components of the brake system are mismatched, which could lead to instability during braking, brake fade and brake fire. The two main types of brake balance are torque balance (matched mechanical components) and pneumatic balance (equal air pressure at all wheel ends). When there is such imbalance, some brakes work harder and lock up easier than the others that can result in brake fade and/or brake fire. Additionally, improper brake balance can result in the tractor-trailer either jackknifing or swinging out.

Brake imbalance can be cured by a proper brake inspection by the trucking company and truck driver which would involve inspecting the brake linings as an imbalance would show noticeable wear tear on some linings as opposed to the others. An experienced truck crash attorney would make sure that a post-crash inspection of the truck braking system was conducted to determine if the conditions of the brakes caused the crash. Such an inspection would involve equipment that would supply and regulate air pressure to the braking air-supply system to determine the effectiveness of each brake.

Another major factor in truck crashes is improper load size. Among others, there are several scenarios where an improper load could cause a truck crash. First, the cargo load on the truck could break loose and fall upon the roadway. Second, a sudden shift of the load inside the truck could cause the truck driver to lose control. Another scenario would involve overloading the truck with a load that is heavier than the truck was designed to hold. Lastly, the load on the truck could be improperly secured.

If you are injured in a tractor trailer collision or truck accident in Georgia, Mr. Ford can help you receive the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries, lost earnings or wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. In trucking crash cases, it is imperative that you contact an experienced attorney immediately to secure and preserve physical and documentary evidence of the crash before such evidence is destroyed or moved.

The Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford represent clients throughout Georgia who were seriously injured or lost a loved one in truck collisions. As such, The Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford is currently accepting trucking accident cases throughout Georgia. It is not uncommon for trucking accident victims to suffer catastrophic and life changing injuries with expensive medical bills and future treatment. Mr. Ford can help clients obtain monetary compensations necessary to pay for past, present and future medical care and provide for a new start. Please contact us today for a free consultation.