Driving a large semi-truck or commercial vehicle takes a lot of training and maintenance. Drivers must be trained to operate these large vehicles on the road safely and efficiently. However, even when truck drivers are skilled and trained to avoid catastrophic trucking accidents, maneuvering a big rig that has not been safely maintained can be deadly. Preventing semi-truck accidents is a top concern for trucking companies, but when a company cuts corners and fails to maintain their trucks properly, they can and should be held responsible.
A fully loaded big rig can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and can take a long time to come to a complete stop. In fact, the average properly maintained semi-truck can take as much as 200 feet to stop. If the brakes have been used for a while, the commercial truck may need as much as 450 feet to come to a complete stop. As you can imagine, brake maintenance is extremely important in helping these vehicles stop in time to avoid catastrophic accidents.
Any wear and tear on the brakes can add to the time it takes for a commercial truck to stop. Brakes that are changed regularly and are up to code can help truck drivers avoid deadly collisions. Yet, it is the responsibility of the trucking company to ensure that the brakes meet federal regulations and that they are maintained according to the law. Improperly maintained brakes can lead to brake imbalance, thinning pads, brakes permeated by grease, and worn out brakes. Unfortunately, faulty brakes are a leading cause of trucking accidents.
All commercial vehicles should include regular performance-based brake tests to assess the braking performance of the vehicle. These tests determine a truck’s ability to come to a stop in a variety of conditions. Regular tests are conducted using specialized equipment and should be performed on a regular basis. Failure to perform these tests could make a trucking company liable for any accidents that occur.
Every single year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducts a safety campaign where FMCSA officials perform roadside inspections on commercial trucks. These inspections can help uncover safety violations and brake maintenance issues. Since the program began they have inspected more than 3.8 million vehicles throughout the U.S. and Canada.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident, assessing the accident and determining liability can be complicated. As such, you need an experienced and skilled trucking accident attorney on your side from the very start. Call the Fowler Law Firm today at (970) 232-3322 to find out how we can use our legal experience to help you recover maximum compensation.