While a good number of truck accidents in Los Angeles roadways are due to the negligence or poor judgement of truck operators and others on the road, that’s not always the case. Quite a few accidents are due to defective parts on the truck itself, including insufficient lighting, faulty fuel tanks and defective safety systems.
Let’s look at some of the most common defective parts that lead to devastating big truck accidents involving commercial trucks, tractor trailers, and big rigs.
One of the most vital—if not the most vital—systems on any large commercial truck is its braking system. The ability to brake is paramount to the safe operation of the truck. Most have air brake systems that use compressed air to put pressure on the truck’s brakes, helping it to stop rapidly. In an emergency scenario, this type of braking system can help to prevent a deadly collision.
However, if the brakes malfunction due to a manufacturing or mechanical error or if they are not maintained properly, then catastrophic accidents can result. Because of this, regular inspections of the braking system are necessary to rule out any potential problems and look for overheating or cracks that may indicate a future problem.
The tires on a commercial truck should always be in good shape. One of the more common causes of big truck accidents is tire failure or blowouts. Worn tires or tires that are not inflated properly can cause the operator of the big truck to lose control of the vehicle, and the results can be ugly. Tire inspections and replacement of worn tires are important to keeping big trucks safe on the road and reducing devastating accidents.
It is many times the case that big trucks are equipped with so-called side-saddle tanks to hold their fuel. This type of placement can lead to deadly explosions if a violent impact occurs. This design flaw can lead to claims against the manufacturer in the event of a fire or explosion during a crash.
Responsible truck owners and operators ensure that underride guards are in place on their vehicles. These guards prevent passenger vehicles from crashing under the truck during a rear-end scenario. If the guards on a truck are not up to the minimum code, then deaths and serious injuries can result.
Commercial trucks must be able to have a good view of the road ahead, and at night, lighting systems that function properly are crucial. Many operators drive during periods of low light, so it can’t be stressed enough that lights are necessary for safe operation. Likewise, reflective tape on commercial vehicles allows other drivers on the road to adequately see both a truck and its trailer. Not placing these reflective strips on a truck can be a contributing factor in serious accidents.