Truck Accident: Brake Failure

Truck Accidents Caused by Brake Problems


Brake failure is one of the primary causes of 18-wheeler accidents in America. The consequences can be tragic when the brakes fail on an 80,000-pound truck. According to a Department of Transportation estimate, brake problems cause around 30% of truck crashes in the United States. Crashes involving a commercial truck, sometimes known as a tractor-trailer, can be disastrous.

If you have been involved in a rear-end collision or jackknife truck accident, the possibility is great that brake failure contributed to it. It is essential to contact an experienced truck accident attorney who can advise you on the best course of action.

How Can Truck Brakes Fail?

An 80,000-pound load puts tremendous strain on a tractor-trailer’s brake system. Consequently, truck brakes must be precisely maintained, and trucking regulations mandate routine brake inspection. If a trucking company tampers with maintenance records or fails to maintain brakes properly, it is responsible for any injuries caused by brake failure.

Truck brakes are critical components of any commercial vehicle, so how do they fail?

Inadequate brake maintenance increases the time a truck takes to stop. Poor brake maintenance reduces the truck driver’s ability to avoid roadway hazards and other vehicles. Poor brakes can also increase the time required to stop in adverse weather.

Inadequate lubrication of the braking pads or drums – A lack of lubrication on the brake pads or drums is a common problem. These components might seize up and become unresponsive if not properly lubricated, making it difficult for the driver to slow down or stop the truck. A damaged caliper can cause braking issues due to a worn piston seal or component corrosion.

Heat accumulation due to heavy braking – Another possible failure mode is heat buildup caused by severe braking. This might produce fissures in the drum’s structure, progressively weakening it.

Truck drivers undergo extensive training. Suppose a trucking company hires an inadequately trained driver who does not understand the proper braking method for going downhill. In that case, too much stress may overload the brake system, and brake failure can occur.

Jackknife Truck Accidents and Brake Failure

The most common cause of jackknife truck accidents is a driver suddenly applying brakes. However, improperly adjusted brakes can also cause a jackknife accident.

Negligence in Brake Failure Truck Accidents

Many parties may be held accountable for truck accidents involving brake failure, including:

  • Trucking companies – by engaging in cost-cutting measures and thereby failing to provide routine brake maintenance
  • Maintenance contractors – by poorly inspecting a big rig’s brakes
  • Driver – if he/she fails to perform mandatory pre-trip brake checks

How a Truck Accident Attorney Can Help

The Houston truck accident attorneys at Anthony Muharib have been successfully litigating vehicle accidents for over twenty years. We will conduct our own independent investigation of your accident and ensure you obtain full compensation for your injuries and property damage.

An experienced truck accident lawyer will send a legal notice to the trucking company requiring it to preserve all related crash evidence. This includes maintenance records, which could prove inadequate brake maintenance.

Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Anthony Muharib - Personal Injury Lawyer

5718 Westheimer Rd
Suite 1000
Houston, TX 77057