While there is any number of reasons why a truck accident may incur, from the actions of another road driver to the mental and physical condition of the truck driver themselves, sometimes, the actual condition of the truck itself can be the cause.
These are known as truck defects which are one of the most common causes as to why truck accidents take place. Some are unavoidable, while some can occur from poor or rushed maintenance checks, or general wear and tear.
Catching these defects is so important, but it’s only possible if you know what to look out for. Today, we’re going to explore the four most common truck defects that can lead to crashes.
Steering Unit Problems
Statistics show that around 21% of truck incidents happening in the US occur due to problems with the steering unit of the truck. When you add on tons of weight onto the back in a trailer, this inability to turn properly can quickly cause serious risks and dangers.
Due to the size of a truck, the steering systems tend to be complex and detailed, which means there are more things to go wrong compared to a standard vehicle. From poor ball joints to improper alignment, if you sense a problem with your steering system, don’t risk driving any further.
Of course, if you do find yourself in a road incident, this, and all the other points on this list will be getting checked after an accident to see what happened.
Poor Tire Conditions
Despite trucks having so many tires, even if one is of a poor-quality and blows out, this can cause a serious incident and road traffic accident that can cost lives. Of course, the tire quality is going to degrade over time through driving, but poor checks can mean you miss when to change them, increasing the risk of something happening dramatically.
Quite self-explanatory, the term ‘brake failures’ refer to an incident where the brake system of your truck fails, leaving you unable to brake. This might not be a full failure, but rather one where the brakes are not operating to their high standard, which increases your stopping distance or cannot brake quick enough.
This can be incredibly dangerous, especially when you’re carrying a heavy load, or you’re driving in less-than-desirable conditions where the roads are wet or icy. This is so common around 30% of all tractor-trailer incidents occur because of it.
The last truck defect you need to be aware of is missing lights or mirrors on your truck. Since trucks are out and about most of the time, these areas can break easier with little knocks and bumps or can burn out over time. However, while small, these parts are very important.
Whether your lights aren’t working at night and you haven’t checked to see if they’re working, you’re able to see properly while you’re driving, or other road users can’t see your turning intentions, this simple action can turn into a dangerous situation very quickly.
As you can see, from large truck parts like the tires to smaller areas such as the intricate steering system, there are many things that can go wrong with a truck in the form of a defect. The best thing to do is to make sure you’re aware of these issues, and then how to deal with and correct them to ensure you and all other road users are as safe as possible.