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Air brake failure is a factor in almost 30% of truck crashes

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2021 | Uncategorized |

Commercial trucks pose a threat to all Michigan motorists because they are so much larger and heavier than passenger cars. However, sometimes, defects within the truck’s braking system or truck driver mistakes have the potential to trigger air brake failure and make these heavy, oversize vehicles even more of a threat to the public.

According to Transport Topics, a study of 967 truck crashes showed that issues involving air brake failure contributed to 29.4% of them. Some instances of air brake failure occur because of brake system malfunctions or defects. Other times, they are the result of truck drivers driving or behaving negligently.

Air brake failure and system malfunctions

Air brakes work because they receive a steady stream of air that keeps them open and functioning as intended. If something inhibits that air stream and stops the brake system from receiving compressed air, the brakes lock and apply themselves. When this happens, a truck driver may not be able to regain control over them.

Air brake failure and trucker errors

Air brake failure may also result when a trucker overuses the brakes. Rather than “ride the brakes” downhill, experienced truck drivers know to employ them sporadically, as overuse may lead to issues ranging from premature brake fade to overheated brakes that catch on fire. Overusing the brakes is more common among younger or newer truck drivers who lack the experience older, more seasoned truckers often have.

Trucking companies have a duty to keep their vehicles safe for use. Truckers, meanwhile, have a duty to take all necessary precautions when driving their vehicles. Trucking companies and truckers that fail to do so may face sanctions.