A fully-loaded semi-truck typically weighs between 40,000 and 80,000 pounds. On account of their extraordinarily large size, commercial trucks pose a serious safety risk to everyone else on our road. Commercial trucking companies should never put their profits above public safety. They are legally responsible to ensure that trucks and trailers are always in proper working condition.
Yet, truck defects contribute to a significant share of accidents. According to a study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an estimated ten percent of truck accidents nationwide are caused by vehicle-related safety defects. Here, our Stockton truck accident attorney highlights eight of the most common truck defects that contribute to crashes in California.
1. Tire Failures
As tires are the only part of the truck that actually makes any contact with the road, it is crucial that they are in proper working condition. Overly worn-out tires are extremely dangerous for a wide range of different reasons. A semi-truck with bad tires is substantially more likely to skid. Worse yet, old tires may blow out causing a catastrophic accident. Regular inspection is required.
2. Brake Problems
Truck drivers must operate their vehicles at a safe speed and leave adequate braking distance. At the same time, a trucking company needs to ensure that the vehicle’s brakes are in good condition. Bad brakes are dangerous—especially on large commercial trucks. When a truck is involved in a rear-end collision, it can result in catastrophic injuries.
3. Defective Lighting
Similar to any other type of motor vehicle, a tractor trailer’s lights must always work properly in order for it to be safe. Of course, a large commercial truck has even more lights than other vehicles. Any issues with headlights, tail lights, brake lights, or trailer lights can pose a very serious safety hazard. This is a defect that must be addressed without delay. Failure to do so is negligence.
4. Steering Problems
The steering system on a modern commercial truck is complex. A human truck driver does not have enough physical strength to maneuver the vehicle safely if there is a major problem with the steering. All truck companies operating in California need to ensure that a vehicle’s steering system is inspected on a regular basis. Any problems must be addressed immediately.
5. Suspension Failure
Truckers rely on their vehicle’s suspension system. A commercial truck with a malfunctioning suspension system is far more likely to crash. Even a seemingly minor problem with the truck’s suspension system can pose a very serious safety hazard. Once again, trucking companies in California have a proactive duty to inspect the semi-truck and repair any damages.
6. Transmission or Engine Problems
A transmission failure or an engine failure is a major problem for any vehicle—especially for a large truck. Should these types of failures occur in the middle of traffic on one of Central California’s busy highways, it could result in a catastrophic accident. A commercial truck can be held legally liable for its failure to conduct adequate pre-trip inspections, post-trip inspections, or general maintenance.
7. Trailer Attachment Failure
A truck’s trailer should never come loose from the vehicle. If a trailer attachment fails on a busy highway it can result in a devastating multiple vehicle crash. Even without a complete failure, a loose attachment could also lead to a commercial truck’s trailer swinging into another lane entirely. If you were injured in a truck accident after a trailer came loose, consult with an experienced Stockton, CA motor vehicle collision attorney right away.
8. Improperly Secured Cargo
Finally, a commercial truck’s cargo must be properly secured. Improperly loaded trailers lead to a significant number of semi-truck crashes in Central California. Not only can unsecured loads come loose from a truck, but a poorly loaded trailer could potentially cause the truck to overturn. If you believe that your crash was caused by a trucking company’s failure to properly load a trailer, contact an experienced Stockton, CA truck accident attorney for immediate help with your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Truck Accident Lawyer in Stockton
At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, our Stockton trucking accident lawyers have the skills, experience, and tenacity to hold big truck companies and their insurance carriers accountable. If you or your loved one was hurt in a crash caused by a commercial truck defect, we are here to help you secure full and fair financial compensation. Contact us today for your no-cost, no-commitment case review. With an office in Stockton, we represent truck accident victims throughout Central California.