Georgia Trucking Accidents: Mechanical Failure

Trucks are unwieldy, heavy, fast-moving, and giant hazards lumbering across roads throughout the country. Georgia is no exception, as it is impossible to travel anywhere in the state without spotting a semi-truck traversing the highway.

Truck traffic is a necessary element of modern commerce, but it comes along with a serious risk of causing serious accident. Inclement weather and improper road conditions contribute to a portion of highway collisions yearly. However, a much larger portion of crashes are linked to human error. Unfortunately, negligent maintenance and defective systems can lead to mechanical failure.

Truck Accidents Caused By Mechanical Problems

Semis, construction dump trucks, and other heavy equipment moving along the roads are far from simple machines. They have complex steering, shifting, and safety systems among their many components. All of these systems need to be in harmonious working order for safe travel. Any imperfection or malfunction can bring about grave consequences.

Brakes:

Chief among a rig's safety systems is its brakes. A semi travelling at full highway speed creates incredible force and momentum. Brakes must be in top working condition to bring such an object to a stop. However, due to human error, this is not always the case.

Failure to maintain brakes is a common problem. Despite strict regulations requiring routine inspection and replacement of worn parts, the rules are often disregarded. Brakes wear out due to daily commercial use. Often old parts that should be exchanged for new parts are relied on to cut costs. Additionally, unapproved modifications by companies can lead to brake failure as well.

Design faults in manufacturing also causes brake failure. Even properly installed and inspected components can fail if parts are not built to withstand the rigors that industrial freight delivery demands. Furthermore, ignoring load limits leads to catastrophe. Even the finest brake systems maintained in perfect order cannot compete with the inertial forces of a quick emergency stop if a rig is overloaded.

Tires:

Rigs log thousands and thousands of highway miles every year demanding monumental performance from tires. To make matters worse, old tires are often recycled through a process called "retreading" to reduce costs. Dangers caused by this controversial industry practice are currently being researched by the National Highway Safety Administration.

All deliveries are required by federal regulations to undergo an inspection before departure. However, this doesn't always happen. Deadline pressures and the financial gain from rapid turnaround can dictate how much attention is given to safety and federal regulations. Remember, trucking companies are losing money when their equipment is in the garage; they want their trucks out on the road hauling freight as soon as possible.

Economic pressures like these can lead to cursory inspections, not switching out small tires or tires with insufficient treads when heavy loads demand them in accordance to regulation, or underinflated tires. Oversights, whether intentional or negligent, cause increased stopping distance and blowouts. Another considerable danger is improperly manufactured tires. Trucking companies have even been known to ignore factory recalls to save time and money at the expense of road safety.

Moreover, limits are set requiring maximum hours of service each day. When these regulations are ignored, overheating and overuse can push braking systems, tires, and other components to the point of failure regardless of inspection and maintenance. Even more disconcerting is that a fatigued driver who has been logging too many hours will be too tired to react fast enough should safety systems malfunction.

Georgia Truck Accident Attorneys

An accident caused by a heavy truck causes staggering damage, both to life and limb as well as in financial terms. If you or someone you know has been injured in a crash involving heavy equipment contact the Persons Firm by calling 770 424 5125 immediately for a free consultation.