As drivers on the road in Texas, we will likely be near a big rig during our travels. Houston is a major truck transportation hub, so it is no surprise that we have to share the road with huge commercial vehicles. Unfortunately, we also have to worry about truck accidents, especially those with mechanical failures. Some types of mechanical failures are more common than others.
18-Wheeler Truck Accident Causes
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) gathers accident data from various sources and publishes annual reports. The most recent report shows that more than 4,200 fatal truck accidents occurred. That number is about the same as it has been for the last several years. Information on the number of big rig accidents is shocking. Safety must become a priority for trucking companies to prevent crashes.
According to a study completed by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), more than half of trucks involved in accidents had at least one mechanical failure at the time of the crash.
About 30% of trucks had a mechanical failure that should have kept them off the road in the first place. A dangerous semi-truck or 18-wheeler must be placed “out-of-service” until the condition has been fixed.
Common Mechanical Failures of Big Rigs
18-wheelers are more complicated than standard passenger vehicles and have more complex systems that must be maintained. For that reason, truck safety can’t be discounted. Some of the most common mechanical failures of big rigs include:
Tire failures are all too common among trucks on the road, and tire failure can be avoided with proper tire care if a truck tire experiences a blowout while on the road, it creates a serious safety hazard for the truck as well as for other nearby vehicles. Trucks are quite large and heavy and therefore difficult to stop. When a tire blows on an 18-wheeler, it causes a shift in the center of gravity. The driver has to try to gain control over the truck in just a few seconds. If the driver loses control, the load can shift, and the truck can crash.
Brake System Failure:Trucks have complex braking systems installed that need to be checked regularly. If the brakes fail, the driver will have little control over stopping the vehicle, resulting in a severe rear-end collision or pile-up.
Lighting System Problems:Because of the large truck size can be difficult to see at night, especially if the lights are not functioning properly. When the lighting systems are not working as they should, other drivers may not be able to see the truck until it is too late.
Engine Breakdown:When the engine fails, the driver has to try to maneuver the truck safely to the side of the road. The law requires trucks to pull off the road when they have a mechanical failure and seek assistance. They should also place flares or warning markers behind the truck to warn drivers of their stalled condition.
Investigation of Truck Wrecks
Investigation of a truck accident that includes serious injury or a fatality is needed to discover all the causes of the crash. Often, it is only after a detailed analysis of the condition of the tractor and trailer and a review of evidence that some facts come to be known. Our 18-wheeler investigation team has won every fight we have picked after a wrongful death or injury truck crash. For over 35 years, we have been undefeated in trucking accident litigation.
We have won many cases where we have proven the 18-wheeler was in a dangerous condition and a cause of the wreck. Even representing commercial truck drivers injured in accidents. Call our skilled truck accident attorneys for a consultation about your case.
Talk With a Leading Big Rig Accident Lawyer
Truck drivers and trucking companies must inspect and maintain their vehicles and should not be on the road if the vehicle is not working properly. If they do so, they could be negligent. If you were involved in an accident with a big rig, our Truck accident lawyers in Houston could help. We will champion your rights and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact our experienced Houston legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm to schedule a consultation today.