Truck Problems and the Consequences of Collisions

According to the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT), Americans have driven more than 3 Trillion miles in the last year alone. These numbers are huge and are perhaps not shocking to anyone who has driven on American highways in the past twelve months. The sheer number of vehicles on the road makes it easy to comprehend just why there are so many accidents on the road that ultimately result in serious injuries or even death.

When you factor in the large number of trucks and 18-wheelers on U.S. roadways, the picture becomes even more convoluted. Transporting goods by truck is still a major method of delivery for so many U.S. and international industries, and it is unlikely to change anytime soon. For drivers who have ever shared a highway with the massive trucks that make up a part of our nation’s shipping and transport infrastructure, we know all-too-well the dangers that these massive vehicles pose to consumer health and safety.

The sheer size and weight of semi-trucks alone make them dangerous vehicles on our nation’s roads and highways. Considering the heavy load they are often hauling, the weight of the vehicles can reach massive amounts of tons, which can cause devastating damage to a light car, truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian in the event of a collision. If a truck is improperly balanced or overloaded, the risk of a serious accident increases significantly, so we depend on trucking companies and truck drivers to follow all safety precautions to make sure that they keep themselves and others safe on while driving.

Unfortunately, accidents do occur, and a frequent cause of serious accidents is truck malfunctions or defects. A few common causes of trucking defects include:

  • Malfunctioning air brakes – It is important for truckers to inspect their air-brakes for any possible issues PRE-TRIP, to make sure they do not fail at the wrong time.
  • Fan Clutch – Replace fan clutches before they wear out. A faulty or worn out fan clutch can cause the truck to overheat, which often tends to strike at the worst possible time. Make sure to have the fan clutch inspected regularly and replaced when necessary to avoid issues.
  • Ball Joints – Only a trusted and reliable mechanic should be allowed to replace your truck’s ball joints, which hold the wheels of the truck in place so that they do not fall off. In the event of a faulty ball-joint, the 18-wheeler’s tire alone can cause serious damage and even an unexpected death on the roadway.
  • Radiator malfunction – Much like any vehicle on the road, the radiator is essential to proper function while driving. Make sure to inspect your radiator regularly to make sure it is functioning properly and know the limits before your engine will overheat.

By properly maintaining your truck, businesses and truckers alike can protect themselves and their cargo while on the road. What’s more, they may be able to prevent serious injury accidents which can lead to civil actions including personal injury lawsuits or wrongful death lawsuits that often result when a trucking company fails to properly maintain their vehicles.

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