Motorists understand the importance of having their vehicle checked regularly to ensure all of the parts are working properly. Similarly, large trucks should be inspected on a routine basis to make sure there are no defective parts. Neglected maintenance, system malfunctions or defective equipment on tractor trailers could lead to a catastrophic truck accident. Not surprisingly, trucks that have defective parts are more than twice as likely to get in an accident.
In one study, researchers looked at trucks that had been involved in an accident and discovered that at least one mechanical violation was involved in more than 55 percent of those trucks. While mechanical failures involving braking systems and lighting equipment were the most common, there are a host of other problems that may occur in different truck systems. These include the following:
- Defective steering mechanisms
- Broken hydraulic hoses
- Burned out taillights, headlights or turn signals
- Bad windshield wipers and defrosters
- Defective trailer hitches
Tire blow-outs are another common cause of tractor trailer accidents. Worn down and separated tread on tires can lead to a blow-out, which can cause the truck to spin out of control. Debris from tire blow-outs can become airborne and hit other vehicles.
Even if tractor trailers are properly maintained and serviced regularly, they may be built with faulty equipment. Recalls are often given on certain defective truck parts and if those trucks are not taken in for servicing, those parts may break while the truck is in service. It is imperative that truck operators and trucking companies take good care of their truck fleet in order to ensure they are not involved in a fatal truck accident.