Truck Braking Ability

West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

Wolfe Law Firm has over 20 years of experience in personal injury law. Located in Elkins, our office works diligently to protect your family and financial future. If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a truck accident, let us help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Brake-Related Truck Accidents

The brakes of a truck are essential to its safety and the safety of others. If the brakes fail while the truck is moving, the massive vehicle will wipe out everything in its path. Like a train wreck, brake-related accidents cause severe traffic pile-ups and injuries. They often start a chain-link reaction with very few survivors. Brake-related truck accidents may involve:

  • Runaway trailers
  • Rollovers, jackknifes
  • Bald or blown-out tires
  • Squeeze play, wide turns
  • Flipped big rig, traffic jams
  • Spilled cargo and falling debris
  • Sudden corrective action, tight turns
  • Veering off road or into opposing traffic
  • Head-on, rear-end, and side impact collisions

Small cars are at a severe disadvantage to trucks in a brake-related accident. Crashes with a larger vehicle kill nearly 80 percent of drivers each year. Motorists should avoid cutting in front of trucks, forcing them to stop quickly. Emergency braking situations can cause fatal collisions.

The brakes of a truck can fail for many reasons, but the most common causes include:

  • Age, maintenance
  • Overheating or use
  • Improper installation
  • Careless cargo loading
  • Wrong braking technique
  • Failure to inspect or repair
  • Insufficient braking distance

Truck owners and operators must inspect their vehicles for safety hazards. They are required to repair or replace defective brakes and record any brake-related accident. Continuing to use old or poorly-maintained brakes may lead to liability.

Application of Brakes

Although brakes experience wear and tear, their lives can be extended through proper technique. Many dangers, for example, have to do with overheating. This may be caused by overuse, extended downgrade braking, improperly loading cargo, and suddenly stopping from high speeds. Truckers are taught that every application of the brakes should lower their speed 5 to 6 mph. The harder the vehicle works to stop, the more the brakes heat up. As such, proper braking technique can vastly reduce wear and tear.

Normally-sized vehicles traveling at 30 mph need about 35 feet to stop. An 80,000 pound tractor-trailer traveling at the same speed requires at least 100 feet. If it were traveling at 60 mph, the required braking distance does not only double, but quadruples to over 400 feet. At 65 mph, a car only requires about 300 feet to stop; the truck’s braking distance increases to 525 feet. These distances may vary according to changes in weather, road conditions, and brake quality.

Truck drivers and owners are liable for accidents caused by negligence. These include failure to properly apply, repair, or maintain the brakes. Commercial drivers are required to keep a log of their hours and report any dangers. Owners must inspect, repair, and replace the brakes if they are not up to standard. They must explain the cause of an accident in a detailed report. Motor carriers are also liable for injuries caused by the truck driver’s negligence. Victims injured in truck accidents may therefore recover compensation from multiple parties. They are entitled to additional damages from the manufacturer if the injury was caused by defective brakes.

Recover Full Compensation for Your Loss

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a brake-related truck accident, an experienced West Virginia truck accident lawyer at Wolfe Law Firm can help. For over 20 years, we have offered quality legal service to truck accident victims harmed by negligence. Whether your accident was caused by negligence or a product defect, we can advise you of your legal options and start on the case at no cost to you. Our office only gets paid if you do. At Wolfe Law Firm, your case is our priority and we do not rest until we obtain full compensation for you. Call (877) 637-5756 for a free consultation or contact us online.