You might assume trucks are the best-maintained vehicles on the road, that their drivers check all is in order before they set out, companies invest in keeping them in top condition and the authorities carry out regular checks to ensure trucks are safe to operate.
The truth is, however, that does not always happen. Time pressures and financial pressures on truckers can lead to trucks heading out without the maintenance they need. That can lead to catastrophic accidents.
What can go wrong on a truck to cause an accident?
Timely maintenance is essential in all vehicles. However, it is even more critical for trucks. As the largest vehicle on the road, a mechanical failure on a tractor-trailer can harm others more than on any other vehicle. Here are some things to consider:
- Brakes: It takes a lot more to stop a loaded tractor-trailer than a car. Brakes must be in optimal condition. Preventative maintenance is essential to ensure brakes stop a truck in an emergency.
- Tires: An 18-wheeler needs 18 tires. That means there is more chance of tire problems than on a car that has four tires. While extra wheels provide stability if one tire blows, a blown tire could cause the truck to swerve. The debris could hit a passing vehicle with devastating force. Tires must be at the correct pressure and replaced well before they wear out.
- Moving parts: Axles need regular greasing and checking. Parts need tightening. Even a loose bolt on a truck could be big enough to kill someone if it flies through their windscreen.
Even if a truck looks brand new, it could still have mechanical issues which caused it to crash into you. It is crucial to investigate all factors when claiming compensation for crash injuries.