Out of all of the kinds of accidents that can happen on the roads of Philadelphia, those that involve trucks and tractor trailers are the most severe. Large trucks are ten times the weight of a regular passenger car even when they are not moving any cargo. When they are full, trucks are closer to thirty times the size of a car. If this kind of weight gets involved in a crash, the damage and the personal injuries that result are often far worse than they would have been if the truck was just another car.
Unfortunately, many truck accidents happen because of the failure of one of the safety features that trucks have. Whether it was a tire, the brakes, or some other piece of truck equipment, these kinds of failures frequently lead to a crash.
Because of how dangerous these crashes can be, the personal injury attorneys at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian work to get truck accident victims the care they need by obtaining for them the compensation they deserve. After all, there is no reason why a driver should have to pay for their injuries when they were suffered in a truck accident that they did not cause.
Truck Equipment Failures
All trucks are equipped with numerous safety features that are meant to ensure the truck gets from one place to another without crashing or to minimize the damages that result from such an accident. Many of these safety features are also present on passenger cars, like braking systems and tires, but have additional components on trucks because of their size. When any one of these pieces of equipment fails, though, it can cause a serious truck accident.
Brakes are, by far, the most important piece of safety equipment on a large truck. If they fail or are not in proper working order, a truck driver will be hard pressed to bring their vehicle to a stop before colliding with someone else on the road, often at a high speed.
Unfortunately, truck brake failures happen incredibly often. According to a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which investigated no fewer than 967 injury-producing accidents involving at least one large truck, brake failures contributed to nearly 30% of all truck accidents.
These brake failures can happen in a variety of ways, and rarely involve a complete brake failure where the driver hits the brake pedal and nothing happens. Instead, most of them involve the slow wear that happens to brakes over years of use. Over time, brakes become worn out from slowing the heavy truck down hundreds of times a day. It is only when a truck driver suddenly needs those brakes in an emergency, though, that the extent of the brake wear becomes apparent. In those circumstances, the brakes might fail to stop the truck and avoid a collision because they were too worn out from years of use, beforehand.
Another common situation where a truck's brakes fail and cause a truck crash is when they are imbalanced. If the brake on one set of wheels is less worn than the brakes on other sets, that wheel will stop rotating faster than the others. This can make it far more difficult for the trucker to keep control of their vehicle when they hit the brakes, and can even cause a jackknife or rollover accident.
Another common kind of truck equipment failure that can cause a serious vehicle accident is a tire failure. When tired blowout, it is nearly always without warning, and the shock and destabilizing effect of losing a tire on a big rig is often enough for a truck driver to lose control. When this happens, if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, you could get severely hurt. Unfortunately, trucking companies and their drivers frequently put off replacing worn or threadbare tires for as long as possible to avoid the high cost of a replacement wheel.
Underride Bar Failures
Because trucks are higher off the ground than other vehicles on the road in Philadelphia, the space beneath them presents a serious danger to other drivers. If they collide with a truck and their car ends up beneath it, all of the occupants in the car have an increased risk of a serious or even fatal head or neck injury. To prevent this from happening, trucks are supposed to have underride bars installed. However, these bars have been known to fail, and when they do, innocent drivers can suffer.
Load-Securing Equipment Failures
An often overlooked safety mechanism on a truck is in the inside of the trailer. There, belts and other mechanisms prevent cargo from shifting while the truck is on the road by keeping it securely in place. If this equipment fails, the truck's cargo – often tens of thousands of pounds – can move suddenly and drastically in the back of the truck.
If this happens, it can make it impossible to control the vehicle as it careens down the highway. If the weight all shifts to one side of the trailer, the truck driver can find it difficult or impossible to steer the truck in the proper direction, and this can create an accident.
Philadelphia Truck Accident Attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian
The highways in and around the city of Philadelphia are full of trucks and tractor trailers. If any of these vehicles suffer an equipment failure, it can cause a serious truck accident that leaves you or one of your loved ones in need of medical attention.
If this should ever happen, you need legal representation to make sure the people who caused the crash pay their fair share for your recovery. There is no reason why you should have to pay for your recovery if you were not responsible for the accident, and the personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian will fight for your cause in court.
Contact us online or call us at (800) 529-6162 for a free consultation.