The injuries that drivers and their passengers sustain in truck accidents are often quite serious. While there are many circumstances that can cause a truck driver to get into an accident with other vehicles, poor maintenance and irregular inspections of the vehicles are common causes.
When a truck does not get inspected or undergo regular maintenance, it can malfunction when the driver is operating it. When that malfunction occurs, the driver could lose control and cause a serious truck accident involving several other drivers.
Certain truck parts are more subject to wear and tear, and are the more likely causes of truck wrecks and collisions. They include:
The brakes are, perhaps, the most important component of any truck, and they are among the most likely to fail. The brakes must be regularly inspected and replaced/repaired, especially because 18-wheelers take a longer time to come to a complete stop. If the brakes are worn down or defective, those extra seconds could lead to a multi-vehicle collision, or a jack-knifed truck.
The tires on a truck must be checked regularly. The truck driver would need to make sure the tires are properly aligned while continuously checking the air pressure in the tires. Low tire pressure is a leading cause of blow outs, as is tire tread separation.
A tire blow-out for a semi-truck is much different than a tire blow-out for a regular passenger vehicle. In both cases, the vehicle is going to pull to one side or the other – but commercial truck tires are very big and very heavy. If one goes flying off of the truck, it can do considerable physical damage to vehicles that are hundreds of feet away, and irreparably harm drivers who are hit by the tire.
Steering wheels and columns
The steering column connects to the wheel, and controls the direction of the vehicle. Any defect or wear-and-tear on the column can be dangerous. Just this year, Paccar recalled 109 medium-duty Peterbilt trucks because the steering shaft could crack, leading the drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
Who is liable when wear and tear leads to a truck accident?
It depends on the circumstances. If the trucker who hit you is an independent contractor who owns his or her own truck, and working for him or herself, then the driver would be liable for any injuries and property damage you suffer. However, if the driver is employed by a larger company, using a truck that is part of that company’s fleet, then the trucking company itself could be liable instead or as well. Liability in trucking accidents can be complicated, so you want to speak with a Chicago truck accident lawyer as soon as you can, so that you can start to untangle the threads quickly.
Injured from an accident with a truck? Gainsberg Law can help. Our Chicago truck accident attorneys represent truck drivers as well as drivers in other vehicles. We want to hear your story. Call us at 312-313-1621, or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.