Commercial Truck Crashes Caused by Defective Equipment

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the use of commercial motor vehicles on highways to reduce crashes and limit the number of potential injuries and fatalities due to these collisions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently conducted a Large Truck Causation Study which found that the most frequent type of defective equipment used by trucks are brakes. Brakes most often fail to comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration standards due to poor manufacturing or design.

What Are Some of the Most Common Examples of Defective Truck Equipment?

Besides the failure of brakes, various other types of defective truck equipment can lead to accidents, including:

  • Body, Door, or Hood Failure.
  • Containment Problems. This type of situation can prove potentially catastrophic if the truck is hauling a material that must be contained like gasoline.
  • Broken Hydraulic Hoses.
  • Defective Reflectors. Reflectors are necessary so that other drivers can pay attention to the truck’s location on the road. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that trucks contain properly working reflectors at all times, this regulation is not always met. Dirty or broken reflectors lead to difficulty location the position of trucks on the road and subsequently can result in automobile accidents.
  • Faulty Gears.
  • Faulty Restraints. Ineffective restraints result in cargo shifting, which can result in disruptions in the center that can then potentially lead to catastrophic truck roll overs.
  • Faulty Underride Guards. Underride guards are bars that are attached to the rear of trailers with the intention to prevent vehicles from sliding under the trailer during rear-end car collisions. Underride guards, however, have been known to fail. One of the most common problems is that the guards are not manufactured strong enough.
  • Light System Failures.
  • Steering equipment malfunction.
  • Suspension Failure.
  • Tire Failure. Defective tires are a common cause of truck accidents. There are several ways in which tires can be defective including tires that blow out or are improperly inflated. Tires can also fail to meet minimum tread depth requirements or bias and radial tires might have been used on the same axle.
  • Transmission/engine Failure.
  • Trailer Problems. A truck that is overweight or overloaded with cargo can result in defective brakes or weak restraints that cause cargo to fall on nearby automobiles.

The very worst part of truck accidents due to defective equipment is that in many cases the severity of the accident or even the mere occurrence of the accident can be entirely avoided.

Who Is Responsible for Truck Accidents Due to Defective Equipment?

This is a difficult question. There are several types of parties that could potentially be liable for truck accidents that result due to defective equipment including the driver, the owner of the truck, the mechanic responsible for taking care of the truck, and the manufacturer of the defective part. The exact details of your truck accident will determine which parties are to be held responsible for causing the accident.

Our firm is skilled at recognizing accidents due to defective equipment. If you or a loved one has been injured by an accident due to defective truck equipment, contact our law firm. We will fight for the compensation that you deserve. Call 409-838-1000 or email our lawyers to schedule your free initial consultation.