Truck Equipment Failure Accidents
Semi-trucks and tractor-trailers are extremely large and powerful machines that depend on complex systems and parts to operate safely and as intended. If even one of these systems fails or a part does not function the way it was intended to operate, then the entire machine can become a gigantic hazard to the truck driver as well as other motorists on the road. Regular preventative maintenance as well as regular inspections and repairs of worn parts are essential to keeping individuals safe on the road.
There are a number of systems or equipment pieces that can fail on a tractor-trailer or semi-truck, including:
- Tires and the suspension system, all of which is essential to the truck driver being able to maintain control of both the truck or cab as well as the trailer;
- The braking system, which must function as designed on both the tractor and the trailer in order for both to be able to be stopped in a safe and controlled manner;
- Equipment designed to keep loads inside or on a trailer from shifting during transit. Shifting loads can throw off the balance of the trailer and affect its handling, making a crash more likely; and/or
- Electronics and other equipment that monitors the condition of the truck and other systems and that are designed to alert the driver and/or mechanic of potential issues before they experience a significant malfunction.
The owner of a large commercial truck as well asthe owner of the trailer each have a responsibility for making sure the truck and trailer are both in safe working order by ensuring the vehicle and trailer are regularly examined by a qualified mechanic and that preventative and reparative maintenance is accomplished in a timely manner. Crashes and collisions caused by defective truck parts can lead to civil liability for the truck driver, his or her employer, and the owner of the trailer and load (depending on the facts of each specific situation).
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