Delivery trucks are a common sight on Kansas City streets. Due to their often large weight and size, tragic consequences can occur when they are involved in accidents. Equipment failures, and in particular brake failure are known, predictable, and often preventable causes of these commercial vehicle accidents.
Large trucks such as tractor trailers, 18 wheelers and delivery trucks have more complicated brake systems, like air brakes than regular cars. These more complex systems require routine inspection and maintenance. Defective, poorly maintained or improperly adjusted truck braking systems can fail and cause catastrophic and even fatal injuries… as was the case recently in Kansas City.
A tragic car accident which highlights the danger of defective truck brake systems was recently reported by KMBC News which indicated that a possible defect with the brake system in a FedEx delivery truck may have been a contributing factor in the tragic death of a 52-year-old FedEx delivery driver on Sept. 12. It was reported that the driver was delivering a package on Amber Court in the Emerald Hills subdivision in Platte County around 4:30 p.m., when the parked truck rolled down a steep driveway and hit him.
The delivery driver from Independence was reported to have been crushed to death between the delivery truck and the house where he was making a delivery. Investigators are said to have indicated that a possible braking system defect may have caused the parked delivery truck to roll, fatally pinning the delivery driver against the home.
FedEx is in the business of transporting goods in interstate commerce. Therefore, it is very likely that they are required to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRS). The FMCSRS contain very detailed requirements truck brake systems, including the type, performance, components, maintenance and inspection of the brake systems. Missouri Statute 307.170(3) also requires motor vehicles to have proper brakes and to be in working condition while being operated on public roads. If these rules are violated, and someone is injured or killed as a result, the entity or individual that violates the rules may be considered negligent and held liable.
Failures in brake systems and tires are two of the most common areas of equipment failure on large trucks. With proper inspections and preventative maintenance, many brake problems can be identified and corrected before a brake failure causing death or serious injury happens.
Common sense tells us that parked trucks are not supposed to roll on their own and crash into innocent victims. When a truck rollaway accident occurs due to failure or defect in the vehicle’s braking systems and causes serious injury or death to someone, investigation into the causes is often merited.
Truck accidents caused by equipment failure such as brake failure, tire failure, and steering failure can be complex. Truck accident victims or their families may seek the help of an experienced Kansas or Missouri truck accident attorney to investigate such a case.