blog home Truck Accident How Can Equipment and Procedural Errors Cause Truck Crashes?

How Can Equipment and Procedural Errors Cause Truck Crashes?

By Joseph Low on May 30, 2024

A mechanic checking a truck.

Truck accidents can be devastating. Unfortunately, these collisions are often the result of truck company negligence, such as equipment failure or procedural errors that compromise safety on the road.

Understanding the most common causes of truck accidents — such as brake system malfunctions, tire blowouts, faulty lighting, driver fatigue, and non-compliance with safety regulations — can help you make informed decisions when seeking compensation from negligent trucking firms.

Common Truck Equipment Failures That Cause Injuries

Brake system malfunctions are a leading cause of truck accidents. These systems are designed to handle heavy loads and frequent use, but when they fail, the consequences can be catastrophic. When brakes fail, a truck driver may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision, especially in high-speed or emergency situations. Common signs of brake problems include unusual noises, a spongy brake pedal, or a longer stopping distance.

In addition to endangering lives, truck brake failure also exposes trucking companies to legal liability for any accidents caused by such negligence. Regular inspections and maintenance are vital to prevent brake malfunctions. Truck operators should adhere to a strict maintenance schedule that includes checking brake pads, rotors, fluid levels, and hydraulic systems.

Tire blowouts can be deadly, especially when they occur on large commercial trucks. The sudden loss of tire integrity can cause a driver to lose control, leading to rollovers or collisions with other vehicles. Factors contributing to tire blowouts include under-inflation, overloading, and wear and tear. It’s essential for truck drivers and maintenance teams to regularly check tire pressure and tread depth as part of their pre-trip inspection routine; ignoring these checks can result in a tire’s inability to perform under the stress of heavy loads and long-distance travel.

Faulty lighting and signaling on trucks pose serious risks on the road. Proper lighting ensures that vehicles are visible to others, especially in low-light conditions, while signaling devices communicate the driver’s intentions to turn or change lanes. When these systems are not functioning correctly, the risk of accidents increases significantly. For example, if a truck’s brake lights are out, following drivers may not have enough warning when the truck is slowing down or stopping, leading to rear-end collisions.

Without functioning turn signals, other drivers cannot anticipate a truck’s movements, which can result in dangerous lane merging situations. It’s crucial for trucking companies to perform routine checks and repairs on all lighting and signaling equipment to ensure their fleet operates safely and in compliance with road safety regulations.

Common Procedural Errors That Cause Truck Accidents

Procedural errors that cause truck accidents include the lack of proper safety protocols, inadequate driver training, negligent hiring practices, and poor supervision that allows drivers to violate truck safety laws.

Driver fatigue is another critical issue in the trucking industry, where long hours on the road can lead to decreased alertness and reaction time. The dangers of driving while fatigued are comparable to driving under the influence of alcohol. Tired drivers may experience delayed decision-making, impairment in coordination, and even the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel.

Strict regulations are in place to prevent such scenarios, including Hours of Service (HOS) rules, which limit the number of hours truck drivers can operate without rest. It is imperative that trucking companies enforce these safety regulations and encourage a culture of rest and recovery to protect their drivers and the public from the severe risks associated with driver fatigue. Sadly, however, violations of these rules are not uncommon, as drivers face pressure to meet delivery deadlines.

Proving negligence in the hiring of truck drivers is another key aspect of litigating truck accident cases. Detailed records of hiring practices and training programs are often scrutinized to establish whether the company cut corners or neglected its duty to ensure its drivers were competent and fully prepared for the demands of the job. Legal professionals must demonstrate that a trucking company failed to meet the industry standards during these processes, which contributed to the accident. This may involve showing that the company did not conduct proper background checks, ignored a driver’s history of traffic violations, or provided insufficient training. If negligence is proven, the trucking company can be held liable for damages resulting from the accident. Successfully arguing this point can be pivotal for the outcome of a case and for securing just compensation for the victims.

Inadequate driver training is another significant factor in truck accidents. Driving a commercial truck requires skill and an understanding of safety practices that only thorough training can provide. Inexperienced drivers may not know how to respond to road hazards, adverse weather conditions, or unexpected actions from other vehicles. When trucking companies skimp on training to save time or money, they put everyone on the road at risk.

Ignoring safety regulations in the trucking industry can lead to severe consequences. Safety standards are not merely guidelines; they are critical rules designed to protect drivers and the public. When trucking companies or drivers overlook these regulations, they exponentially increase the risk of serious accidents. Non-compliance can include bypassing vehicle maintenance or neglecting cargo securement standards. Trucking companies must prioritize safety and adhere strictly to all regulatory requirements.

Long Beach Truck Accident Lawyers for Equipment Failure/Procedural Errors

The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV has been getting justice for accident victims in Long Beach for over 20 years. Attorney Joseph H. Low IV can file a claim or lawsuit against anyone whose careless behavior contributed to your injuries, and our firm is always prepared to take your case to trial if that’s what it takes to get the money you deserve!

The independent agency Avvo gives us a perfect 10.0 rating for providing clients with outstanding service. So call (562) 901-0840 or toll-free at (888) 454-5569 to schedule a FREE consultation today with an experienced Long Beach truck accident attorney at our firm. You won’t owe our lawyer anything unless we win you a payout.

Posted in: Truck Accident

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