These days, sharing the road with commercial trucks is an unavoidable reality for motorists across California and the United States. When the people sitting behind the wheels of those trucks lack adequate training, they endanger you and everyone else they encounter. Because commercial trucks are so massive and heavy, it is more critical than ever that their brakes work. Truckers who depend on their brake performance alone compromise the safety of everyone on the roadway.
How? For starters, safely maneuvering a massive truck downhill takes more than just functioning brakes – it takes sound judgment and careful, rigorous training. Otherwise, truck drivers may, whether intentionally or not, endanger everyone they pass on the way down those hills, because their actions may ultimately lead to brake failure.
Common brake issues
Brake failure issues are to blame for many of today’s commercial trucking accidents, but many of these failure issues are also largely preventable. For example, a truck's brakes can fail if the driver presses down on them for a long period of time, which drivers who lack experience often do as they make their way down steep hills. When they put pressure on the brake system for too long, though, the brakes can get too hot and catch fire.
While this is one such example of a preventable error, failures in the brake system itself can also contribute to trucking accidents. Air brakes need a steady flow of compressed air to work properly. If they do not get it, the brakes essentially turn themselves on and could potentially lock up.
Some commercial trucking accidents result from inexperience or driver error, while others result from faulty mechanics, vehicle defects, substance abuse or a driver’s medical condition, among other causes. When commercial trucks collide with cars, though, the people in the cars are often the ones who ultimately suffer most.