North Carolina’s major highways serve as popular routes for many large trucking companies traveling along the east coast. While this encourages a healthy, thriving state economy, the high volume of commercial truck traffic can be dangerous to other drivers.
In 2012, nearly 4,000 people in the U.S. were killed in car accidents involving large trucks. Of these fatalities, 73 percent were occupants of the other vehicles. Brake malfunction is one of the many causes of these horrific accidents. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) discovered that in 2008, brake problems were present in 27 percent of trucks involved in car-truck crashes.
These large trucks use an air brake system, which operates very differently than the hydraulic brake system that is used in lighter vehicles. Catastrophic accidents can occur when these systems are improperly monitored and maintained.
A large truck’s air brake system is designed so that complete brake failure is extremely rare. However, brakes that are deficient will often provide very low levels of braking force. If a truck driver hits the brakes during an emergency, he will not see the expected level of deceleration and will be unable to stop or avoid other vehicles.
Brake imbalance is a common cause of large truck accidents. Imbalanced air brakes lead to instability, fires and even jackknifing. These disastrous accidents can be avoided with regular maintenance, as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
For years, people across North Carolina have relied on Miller Law Group, PLLC after an accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, please contact us at for a free consultation regarding your case.
Sources: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811868.pdf; http://www.trucking.org/ATA%20Docs/News%20and%20Information/Reports%20Trends%20and%20Statistics/02%2012%2013%20–%20FINAL%202013%20Car-Truck%20Fault%20Paper.pdf