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Rhode Island Truck Accident Lawyer | Brake Malfunction

As with any automobile, one of the primary safety features of commercial trucks is the brakes. They allow the vehicle to stop and, in many cases, are the reasons why collisions do not occur. Since trucks are such large and heavy vehicles, they require a special type of brakes that can produce enough force to slow them down.Commercial trucks use air brakes to serve this function. These brakes differ from the brakes on traditional passenger automobiles in a couple of ways. While the primary function is still to produce friction to slow down the vehicle’s velocity, air brakes achieve this result in a different way.

Truck accidents caused by brake failure

Truck accidents caused by brake failure can have serious consequences due to the size and weight of commercial trucks. Brake failure is a significant factor in some accidents involving trucks, and it can result from various causes. Here are some common reasons for truck accidents related to brake failure:

  1. Maintenance Issues:
    • Lack of regular maintenance and inspection can lead to brake system failures. Over time, brake components can wear out or become damaged, compromising their effectiveness.
  2. Brake System Malfunctions:
    • Problems with individual components within the brake system, such as brake pads, calipers, brake lines, or brake fluid, can contribute to brake failure.
  3. Overheating:
    • Frequent and prolonged use of brakes, especially during downhill descents, can cause brake systems to overheat. Overheating can lead to a loss of braking efficiency and, in extreme cases, complete failure.
  4. Brake Contamination:
    • Contamination of brake components with oil, grease, or other substances can reduce friction and impair the braking system’s ability to function properly.
  5. Manufacturing Defects:
    • Defects in the manufacturing of brake components can also contribute to brake failure. This could include issues with materials, design, or assembly.
  6. Improper Adjustment:
    • If the brakes are not properly adjusted, they may not engage at the right time or with the appropriate force, leading to brake failure.
  7. Driver Error:
    • In some cases, drivers may contribute to brake failure through improper use of the brakes, such as excessive and abrupt braking, which can cause overheating and accelerated wear.
  8. Environmental Factors:
    • Adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain, snow, or icy roads, can affect the performance of brakes, leading to decreased effectiveness and potential failure.

Regular maintenance and inspections are crucial

To prevent truck accidents caused by brake failure, regular maintenance and inspections are crucial. Trucking companies and drivers should adhere to safety regulations and conduct routine checks on the entire braking system. Additionally, proper training for drivers on how to operate the vehicle safely, especially in challenging conditions, is essential. Regularly updating and maintaining a fleet of trucks can help identify and address potential brake issues before they lead to accidents.

Passenger automobiles have brake pads that press against the rotor to slow the car down. Air brakes, on the other hand, use compressed air to provide force behind a brake spring, which is used to slow the rotor. Since air brakes and commercial trucks in general differ so much from passenger automobiles and their functions, trucking companies must employ mechanics with the training and certification to work on commercial trucks and air brakes.

Commercial trucks may be unsafe for road use

In many cases, passenger automobile mechanics may not be able to identify errors within the truck’s braking system. Though specialized mechanics may command a higher salary, they are better equipped to identify errors and correct them. When trucking companies fail to hire the correct mechanics, commercial trucks may be unsafe for road use without the knowledge of the trucker. In these cases, the trucker may cause accidents if there are problems with his or her brakes.
Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.

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