Braking Bad: Why Big Rig Brakes Failed

Everybody has witnessed a terrible trucking accident, whether it was on television or in person. What causes these accidents? It is surprising that nearly 29 percent of large truck accidents are caused by brake problems. These accidents can be caused, according to the Department of Transportation by brakes that are not adjusted or brake failure.

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1.Brake Depowering

It can be very expensive to replace brakes or tires on a truck. Trucker drivers who drive their trucks often depower their front brakes to reduce these costs. To slow down and stop the truck, the trucker relies on the trailer’s brakes. Although this saves money, it can prove dangerous to drive such a large vehicle.

2. No Pre-Trip Inspection

Trucking companies must keep logs of all maintenance for each vehicle in their fleet. They also have to perform daily pre-trip inspections. This inspections include checking brake shoes and listening out for air leaks in the brake chamber. They also look for any loose components. Every person on the road is at risk if owners and drivers fail to inspect their vehicles.

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3.Improper Loading

Although it may not seem like trailer loading would affect brake performance, it can. Unbalanced loads can put more strain on brakes, especially those at the front. Overtaxing the brakes can lead to them overheating and eventually malfunctioning. Truckers should always load their trailers in a careful and balanced manner. This will help prevent accidents and costly wear to the front brakes.

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4.Faulty Brakes

Some truck parts are not as well assembled as those on personal cars. Truck brakes are no exception. These brakes must be made according to federal standards. Sometimes, however, they are not. Truck brakes must meet certain federal standards, have a specific braking force and adjust system requirements. They also need to allow trucks to accelerate from 20 MPH at a speed that is appropriate to their size. Failure to meet these standards can lead to disastrous consequences.

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Faulty brakes are a major cause of trucking accidents. However, we must not forget to mention the many ways tires can play a role in trucking accidents. Tires are just as susceptible to problems as brakes. Semi-truck tires must be compliant with DOT regulations, properly mounted and inspected frequently. Safety is a top priority for tires, just like brakes.

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