We live in an age when it is frequently more convenient to order items online then go to a store and every day, millions of packages are delivered. While these goods can be shipped by water, rail, or air, the majority of all packages are shipped through the trucking industry. Nearly 800,000 men and women work as drivers in this industry and drive an amazing 93,500,000,000 combined miles every year.
The miles, however, mean that the trucks being used are constantly wearing out and having parts replaced. If the companies and drivers that are responsible for making sure the truck is in working order fail to perform regular inspections and maintenance, accidents happen.
Truck Maintenance That Should Not Be Ignored
The average semi that is hauling a full load weighs 80,000 pounds. The pressure of all that weight causes the parts on trucks to wear out – quickly. This is why it is vitally important that trucking companies and drivers regularly perform maintenance on:
Checking to make sure the brakes are in good shape before going on a trip should be a no brainer, but frequently, even when the brakes are making noise because the pads have worn down. There are 18 tires on a semi, each with it’s own braking system. If the brakes aren’t in good repair the time it takes to stop a truck can lengthen.
Other issues may caused the brakes to lock up which can cause the trailer to jackknife.
Tire Wear & Tear
Every driver has seen the shreds of rubber tire on the side of the road. Those strips are the result of a tire blowout on a semi.
Blowouts are caused by improper pressure in the tires which means the weight of the load is not evenly distributed. When the weight isn’t evenly distributed, the tires are worn unevenly, which can lead to a blowout. Federal law says that that each tire on a truck must match in tread wear and pressure levels.
It is incredibly dangerous for everyone on the road if a heavy load shifts and moves while the truck is in motion. There are specific guidelines to how materials should be secured on a truck in order to avoid movement. When restraints are used, they should be checked for wear every time.
There are always weight restrictions on every truck. If the load the truck is carrying is too heavy, there is the chance that it could cause serious issues.
Pivoting Joint Inspection
The pivoting joint is what holds the trailer onto the truck. If this joint is in a state of disrepair or isn’t correctly attached, the trailer may come loose from the truck and become a “runaway”. With no one controlling the trailer, the only way it will come to a stop is to run out of road or crash.
If a company, owner, or driver of a truck fails to inspect these parts prior to going out on the road and an accident occurs because of an issue, they may be held liable.
A Surge In Accidents
While many are happy to see that the American economy has begun to improve the fact is that more purchases are being made, meaning additional semis on the road every day. In addition to this, companies that are competing with selling powerhouses like Amazon which provide two-day shipping are putting pressure on trucking companies and drivers to deliver faster than ever. As a result, the number of truck accidents has steadily increased over the last five years. In fact, round 4,000 Americans are killed each year in a truck accident and another 100,000 are injured.
Why You Should Contact An Attorney – Immediately
If you were involved in an accident involving a semi-truck, it is important that you contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible in order to be sure all potential evidence is preserved.
What most people aren’t aware of is that the majority of semis have an event data recorder – the same device that many know as a “little black box” on airplanes. This device records throughout the drive and can provide crucial details about the accident, including how fast the truck was going at the time of impact, if the brakes were applied seconds before, the consecutive length of time the vehicle had been driven at that point, and whether or not the driver was wearing a seatbelt.
Sadly, if this evidence isn’t requested by an attorney soon after the accident, it frequently just disappears without a trace.