Tractor-trailer crashes are a major risk on the California roads. Because these vehicles are so necessary to transport items throughout the state and across the country, there is generally no way to avoid encountering them. Being aware, vigilant and cautious are fundamental strategies to maintaining safety, but there are times when a collision is unavoidable. While recklessness, distraction, drowsiness, drivers who are under the influence and other factors are common reasons for an accident, issues with the vehicle itself are also possible. Notably, that includes the most basic requirement for any vehicle: functioning brakes.
Emphasis on brake safety will be a weeklong focus
In the last week of August, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will have Brake Safety Week. The reasoning behind this is to emphasize how critical properly functioning brakes are. Statistically, brakes are worrisome in myriad ways. As part of International Roadcheck, it was found that nearly 39% of out-of-service violations were related to brake adjustments.
Out of the top-20 truck violations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), eight were related to brakes. In the 2020 version of Brake Safety Week, 12% of the more than 43,500 vehicles that were subject to inspection were removed from service because of brake concerns. The numbers are fear-inducing, but anecdotal evidence also shows how deadly this issue can be. Stories crop up from across the nation such as the one in Massachusetts with a gravel truck crashing into a home and a fatal dump truck accident in Connecticut.
When weighing options, gathering evidence can be crucial after a truck crash
Tractor-trailer accidents happen for many reasons and brake issues are among the most treacherous. Given the nature of the job, truckers are required to get their delivery to its destination in a certain time-frame. Often, their income hinges on their productivity. Fleet owners also may push their employees in ways that invite risk. These factors might lead to a failure to perform adequate inspections and maintenance to ensure the vehicle is in prime working order. Even if there is full attention paid to safety, brake problems can come up. When there is a crash, people can suffer catastrophic injuries and fatalities. With the personal, financial and emotional challenges that can accompany a truck accident, it is important to know how to gather evidence and consider the options in recovering compensation.