Regardless of whether an 18-wheeler is privately owned or property of a transportation company, keeping semis in proper working order is a primary safety concern. Trucks are easily the largest vehicles using the roadway, and poor maintenance can lead to accidents when something is not working as designed. Many truck accidents in California actually happen for this very reason. Here are three of the main problems we see when it comes to mechanical issues with tractor-trailers involved in accidents.
Brakes not in working order
Malfunctioning brakes are a common cause of many motor vehicle accidents, and especially in accidents involving tractor-trailers. Trucks can take a long time to stop even in the best of conditions, and if there is any wear on the brakes, this can be an even bigger concern. Loads can also shift, causing the truck to pick up speed going downhill, making it difficult for drivers to control.
Steering and suspension systems
Steering is also another issue that can cause problems in larger vehicles such as trucks. These vehicles are very hard to maneuver, and quick moves are almost impossible. If a vehicle’s steering or suspension is not functioning properly, the truck may not respond to commands being given by the driver. A broken steering assembly or weak suspension on a tractor-trailer can easily result in a truck accident at a very inopportune time.
Lighting is also a very important safety feature of a big-rig truck. If a trailer is not marked with reflective lights or other identifying marks, it can be impossible for other drivers to know what they are approaching. This can cause problems when passing or when sudden stops potentially force passenger cars to take evasive action. If a driver does not know what he or she is traveling next to, very serious accidents can happen with almost no warning.
These are three major safety features of a tractor-trailer that can be neglected over the course of a truck’s service history. Operators need to be sure they are keeping a close eye on the trucks that they place on the roads, but unfortunately, these concerns often get overlooked due to tight deadlines. Failure to monitor truck safety features can lead to unsafe conditions that threaten everyone who travels on roadways around the state.