Brake system failure is a major cause of tractor-trailer wrecks.
Truck accidents happen all the time in Arkansas and throughout the nation. Often, a contributing factor in semi-truck accidents is poor brake system maintenance.
In fact, brake problems may be the leading cause of truck accidents nationwide. In nearly 30 percent of all large truck crashes, brakes were an issue, federal data says.
To help combat the problem, truck inspectors throughout North America will conduct a commercial vehicle brake inspection blitz in late August. Some inspections will be planned, while others will be unannounced.
Brake hosing and tubing
This year's Brake Safety Week (BSW) will happen from Aug. 21 to Aug. 27. Inspections will emphasize brake hosing and tubing standard enforcement. In general, brake hosing delivers brake fluid from the master cylinder (in drum brakes) or the caliper (disc brakes).
The tubes are typically found under the chassis, where they are exposed to corrosive roadway materials and elements. Brake tubes also carry pressurized air or fluids. And when tubes are damaged, brake pressure decreases. This can cause the truck's braking system to fail.
Sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, last year's Brake Safety Week resulted in 36,000 inspections. That year, inspectors identified nearly 4,300 vehicles with out-of-service conditions. That's about 12 percent of all trucks inspected for BSW 2021.
Truck accidents in Arkansas
Brake Safety Week is critical in Arkansas. The state has a large trucking and transportation industry and is a major hub for truckers.
With a concentration of semi-trucks and tractor-trailers on Arkansas roads, serious accidents are inevitable. For example, about 80 to 90 people are killed annually in truck accidents across the state. The most recent federal data shows that 82 people died in fatal Arkansas truck accidents in 2019.
Recent truck accidents in Arkansas include:
- A tractor-trailer caught fire on I-49 near exit 85 in Rogers.
- A firey and fatal pileup on I-30 in Friendship.
- In Jonesboro, a semi-truck collided with a pickup at the intersection of Kathleen and Prospect Road, killing the pickup truck driver.
Truck accident injuries
Trucking companies and truckers owe a duty of care to the public. Therefore, they are required by law to meet safety and maintenance standards.
Still, many ignore regulations and put people at risk to save a few dollars. Trucking companies may even skimp on trucker training or overload cargo trailers to increase profits. That's negligent and illegal.
When brake maintenance is ignored, the results can be devastating. Common truck accident injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries (SCIs), amputation, disfigurement, paralysis, nerve damage, broken bones, dislocated joints, and internal bleeding.
Trucking accidents can be complicated. Many entities may be liable, and identifying the right one can be tricky as companies pass the blame to avoid paying for damages.
Failed brakes are often a factor, but other common causes of truck wrecks include:
- Trucker inexperience
- Unusual roadway conditions
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued or drowsy driving
- Errors made under the pressure of a tight deadline (cited in 10 percent of truck accidents)
- Illegal maneuvers
- Tire problems (blown tire)
- Following too close, aka tailgating
- Cargo shift
- Impaired driving (drugs)
- Drunk driving
If you were injured in a semi-truck accident, you might not know what caused the wreck. But if the crash wasn't your fault, it's important to find out how and why it occurred. Proving negligence is key if you want to recover your losses, but the process is complex. Without the right help, you could lose out on the compensation you deserve.
Contact an Arkansas truck accident attorney.
At the McDaniel Law Firm, PLC, our truck accident lawyers have the knowledge, experience, and resources to handle every aspect of your claim and fight for the compensation you're entitled to under the law. Attorneys Bobby McDaniel and Brett A. McDaniel believe in providing personalized attention to every client and would be honored to talk to you about your potential legal case.
We serve Northwest Arkansas and the rest of the state, southeast Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee. Contact us at our Jonesboro office to schedule your free case consultation today.