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The Impact of Brake Failure on Truck Crashes

Properly working brakes in any vehicle is critical to road safety. However, a truck’s massive size and weight going at high speeds that crash due to brake failure can be devastating. Under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, commercial trucks and vehicles must be “operative” – meaning properly functioning at all times.

Specific FMCSA brake mandates are required for different types of commercial vehicles, including the truck’s size, the year the truck was manufactured, and the type of vehicle. Violations of the operative brake rules put everyone on the road at risk. Here’s what you need to know.

What Causes Brake Failure in Commercial Vehicles?

According to a 2006 U.S. Department of Transportation FMCSA Large Truck Crash Causation Study, out of 967 studied truck crashes, 29.4% of them were caused by brake failure. Truck brake failure can be caused by the following:

  • Lack of brake maintenance
  • Truck operator error (riding the brakes on long downhill grades)
  • Moisture gathered in the brake system
  • Cracked or brittle brake hoses
  • Rusted master brake cylinder
  • Overheated brake pads
  • Brake fluid leaks
  • Faulty brake suspensions
  • Manufacturer defects

Taking Trucks off the Road for Safety Violations

Each year the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) does random inspections on what they call “Brake Safety Day.” On May 26, 2021, 10,091 inspections were given. These removed over 1,200 commercial motor vehicles off Canada, Mexico, and U.S. roads for critical brake violations.

Involved in a Large Truck Accident? We Can Help.

When a truck accident has caused you or your loved one to sustain severe injuries, the incident can be a devasting one. From the painful healing process to dealing with mounting medical bills, many truck crash victims are left feeling alone without knowing where to turn for help. Know that you are not alone. At Peterson & Associates, P.C., we’ll be in your corner fighting to protect your rights to pursue a truck accident claim.

Speak to one of our attorneys today to learn your rights. Contact us online or by calling 816-888-8888.

Sources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):Section § 393.48: Brakes to be operative.
https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/section/393.48
U.S. Department of Transportation – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: Report to Congress on the Large Truck Crash Causation Study
https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/ltccs-2006.pdf
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA): Inspectors Remove More Than 1,200 Commercial Vehicles With Critical Brake Violations From Roadways During CVSA’s Unannounced Brake Safety Day.
https://www.cvsa.org/news/2021-unannounced-brake-safety-day-results/