You don’t want to mix a big rig and bad brakes. Large semitrucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and they’re difficult and slow enough to stop when their brakes are functioning properly. Imagine one of these trucks operating with poorly functioning breaks, they’re going to stop even slower and catastrophic accidents can result — especially when they’re trying to navigate traffic among nimbler and more agile small vehicles.
Most car drivers don’t know this, but every truck driver and driver in general should be fully aware of the fact that bad brakes kill. Nevertheless, brake problems account for one of the most frequently seen commercial trucking maintenance violations seen by regulators in the United States.
Considering that a fully loaded semitruck can take as much as 100 yards to come to a full stop while traveling at speed on an interstate, it’s easy to understand why regulators take the condition of semitruck brakes seriously. They also take brakes seriously because they’re one of the first defense mechanisms against avoiding a collision and the fatalities that can result from such collisions.
The people who are killed in semitruck crashes are not usually the semitruck drivers themselves; they’re the people riding in passenger cars that get hit by semitrucks. In fact, 97 percent of people who die in semitruck-related crashes were the ones riding in the passenger vehicles.
If you or a loved one got hurt or killed in a semitruck crash, be sure to investigate the condition of the brakes on the truck. If the brakes were in bad repair, you or your family member may have a viable claim for damages.
Source: Star Tribune, “When big rigs push past the safety rules,” Pam Louwagie, accessed Dec. 01, 2017