Semi’s and other big trucks have many mechanical systems and parts that must work properly for the truck to operate safely. Failure of essential safety components to work correctly can cause a big truck wreck. Some typical equipment failures which are known Kansas and Missouri 18 wheeler accident causes include:
Serious problems in a truck’s brake system can cause the driver to lose control. Overuse of brakes on downhill grades, not replacing worn parts or checking brake adjustment can result in reduced brake performance. Malfunctioning brakes can also be a factor in jackknife 18 wheeler accidents. Proper inspections and preventative maintenance can go a long way to preventing truck accidents caused by brake failure.
Worn or damaged tires may experience a blowout causing a potentially catastrophic loss of control. Improper tire inflation, not inspecting tire condition or not replacing damaged or worn tires are known to be associated with tire failure. Regular inspections to identify worn, damaged or deteriorated tires are important measures to prevent big truck accidents in Missouri, Kansas and across the United States.
The steering system is one of the truck’s basic control mechanisms. The steering system can deteriorate slowly over time or fail suddenly and with potentially catastrophic results. Not properly greasing steering joints, replacing worn out parts and not checking power steering fluid levels are known contributors to steering failure.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRS) contain very detailed requirements for safety equipment on trucks. Parts like lights, brakes, tires, exhaust systems, fuel systems, mirrors, glass, heaters, windshield wipers and washers, heaters, couplers and emergency equipment are all addressed. As an example, there are twelve separate regulations, most of which have multiple subparts, just on the subject of truck lights with extremely detailed requirements for lights and reflectors, including their quantity, color, location and how far above road height they must be mounted. There are pages of diagrams showing the proper position for lighting on different types of trucks. It gets that detailed. Because the FMCSRS can be so critical, it is important that your trucking accident law firm be familiar with and know how to use the FMCSRS in your case.
To reduce big truck wrecks caused by equipment failure, the FMCSRS include comprehensive requirements for truck inspections. At the end of each workday drivers are required to inspect the truck and usually prepare a driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) covering the condition of the truck’s brakes, steering, tires, lights and many other parts. Before driving the truck again, drivers are required to review the previous DVIR, make sure that all defects noted on it have been repaired and also confirm that certain parts of the truck are in good working condition. The FMCSRS also require annual inspections.
Motor carrier inspectors and law enforcement also conduct roadside inspections. If certain problems are found, the truck can be taken “out of service”. This means that the truck may not be driven again until the problem causing the truck to be taken out of service is fixed. If a truck is taken out of service, in some situations it may have to be towed to the repair facility rather than driven there.
Heavy trucks should not be on the road with worn-out or defective component systems and parts. Equipment failure on a massive commercial truck can cause its driver to lose control of the vehicle and possibly lead to extensive injuries, damage, and even death. Proper inspection and maintenance can go a long way to reducing catastrophic injuries resulting from equipment failure.
If you or someone you love is seriously injured, disabled, or killed in a truck accident caused by equipment failure or malfunction, call Flick Law Firm at (816) 221-0501 right away. We can investigate your claim and help you obtain fair compensation for your accident-related damages, including medical bills, reduced earning capacity, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.