NASHVILLE, Tennessee. Brake failure can be an incredibly frightening experience. If your brakes fail, you have several options. You can downshift to a lower gear. Or, you can try pumping the brakes. Or, you can use your car’s parking brake. In most cases, quick thinking can save your life or someone else’s. When brakes fail on large trucks, the danger is much higher because of the heavy loads that trucks carry. Proper maintenance and driving can prevent catastrophic brake failure, but sometimes mistakes happen and drivers cannot stop their vehicles in time. If an accident occurs, the results can be tragic. But why do truck brakes fail?
Brakes can fail for a variety of reasons. Most brakes work due to friction, which stops a vehicle. According to How Stuff Works, if oil leaks onto a brake, it can reduce the friction and reduce the efficacy of the break. Brake overheating can also reduce friction in the brakes. Finally, regular wear and tear can wear down the brake pads.
Truck drivers must be efficient when going downhill to avoid brake failure. Because trucks carry such heavy loads, downhill mountain roads can be incredibly dangerous. If drivers don’t properly downshift or monitor their speed, they can end up riding their brakes, overheating their brakes, or, in the worst-case scenarios, find themselves facing brake failure. If only one brake fails, this can cause the truck to swerve around, putting other drivers and passenger vehicles at risk.
The Law Office of George R. Fusner, Jr. is a truck accident lawyer in Nashville, TN who understands the immense risk that trucks pose to other vehicles when drivers lose control. Proper training, experience, and regular maintenance can prevent accidents from occurring, but sometimes companies put their bottom lines above safety. This can result in situations where drivers may find themselves in the path of a runaway truck.
If you’ve ever driven on a mountainous highway, you may have seen runaway truck ramps. These uphill gravel ramps look steep, but they can be a lifesaver if used properly. According to Car and Driver, while data about how often these truck ramps are used can be difficult to find, in 1981, these ramps were used an estimated 2150 times. This means that if the ramps had not been present, the truck driver may have not been able to stop, potentially endangering others on the road.
Runaway truck ramps work much the same way that brakes work. The friction of gravel on the ramps slows down the truck. While it may seem hard to believe that these ramps could stop a speeding truck, they are quite efficient when used properly. Of course, drivers need to react quickly to a situation that may be out of control.
The Law Offices of George R. Fusner, Jr. are personal injury attorneys in Nashville, Tennessee who take the time to investigate the causes that have resulted in truck accidents. There are many contributing factors that can lead to these catastrophic crashes. Brake failure is only one cause. Drunk driving, lack of proper rest, improper truck maintenance, overloading, and other causes can lead to wrecks.