The brake system on a commercial truck is critically important, and many modern truck crashes that take place across Kentucky and the rest of the nation result from a truck’s air brake system malfunctioning. Sometimes, malfunctions happen because of an issue within the brake system, itself. Other times, brake failure occurs because of a truck driver’s own negligence.
According to Transport Topics, a study of commercial truck crashes shows that air brake failure issues now contribute to 29.4% of truck wrecks. Also, truck driver mistakes contribute to the vast majority, or 87%, of truck crashes.
Air brake failure caused by system issues
In some cases, air brake systems fail because something interferes with the airstream these systems need to stay open and operate as intended. When the airstream stops, the brakes lock and apply themselves. This may cause a truck driver to lose control over the vehicle.
Air brake failure caused by trucker errors
More often, air brake failure occurs because a truck driver overuses or over-relies on the brakes. Brakes take quite a bit of heat, but repeated, regular use while traveling down hills, rather than sporadic use, has the potential to lead to overheating and brake failure. Overusing a truck’s brake system may also lead the brakes to catch fire, which may also cause or contribute to truck crashes.
Most incidents of air brake failure that result from a trucker’s negligent actions involve younger, more inexperienced truck drivers. More seasoned truckers with more training typically know how to avoid overusing the brakes and threatening the efficacy of the entire braking system.