Truck Accidents | Mechanical Failure

Being in a collision with a semi-truck or tractor trailer can be devastating and life-altering.  The massive size and weight of 18-wheelers is the main reason they cause colossal damage, especially if they are traveling at highway speed.  Serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord trauma, as well as internal organ damage, as well as fatalities often occur as a result of a collision with a truck.  There can be many different reasons for a truck crash, but some of the most common causes are mechanical failure.

Truck companies are legally required to perform and keep records of routine inspections, repairs, and maintenance of their tractor-trailers.  Poor maintenance, inadequate safety checks, along with overuse or overloading of the cargo space can result in mechanical failures.  In addition, sometimes even the most proactive inspections and maintenance repairs cannot prevent mechanical failures happening as a result of defective equipment.

Let’s look at some of the most common causes of mechanical failure.

Brake failure can cause a rear-end collision or cause the truck to slam into a bridge, guardrail, or even a house.  Truck companies are required to test and inspect their trucks’ brake systems regularly, and drivers are required to conduct pre-trip inspections, which include checking the brakes.  Brakes can wear out quicker when a truck is overloaded with cargo.

Steering failure can cause a truck to be uncontrollable and unable to maneuver around obstacles and avoid collisions.  A truck’s steering system can be damaged after repeatedly driving an overloaded truck.

In addition, a piece of a truck can fall off due to mechanical failure and hit other vehicles on the roadway or become an unavoidable obstacle that damages vehicles that drive over it.  For example, we had a client who was driving behind a tractor trailer when the semi’s drive shaft fell off and caused a collision with our client’s vehicle.

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