Sharing the New Jersey roadway with commercial trucks can prove unnerving for many motorists, because when cars and trucks crash into one another, the drivers and passengers in the smaller vehicles typically suffer most. At Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson, Covelli & McPherson, we recognize that air brake failure is a frequent cause of today’s semi-truck crashes, and we also understand that many incidents involving brake failure are avoidable.
According to Transport Topics, semi-truck drivers have a tendency to “ride the brakes” when maneuvering their vehicles down steep hills, but doing can, in some cases, lead to brake failure. If a truck driver presses the brakes the entire time his or her truck travels downhill, it can cause the brakes to overheat, lock up and even catch fire, potentially injuring not only the semi-truck driver, but everyone else in his or her path.
While overuse of the air brake system can lead to its failure, this is an issue that is largely avoidable. Typically, experienced, properly trained truck drivers know that there are other methods they can employ to help slow a speeding truck traveling downhill, such as moving the truck into a lower gear and using the brakes in 3-second intervals. Because of their training and experience, they know to utilize these methods to avoid potential brake failure.
While many brake failure issues arise because of driver error, others result because of a problem within the system, itself. Air brakes require a constant stream of air to keep them functioning properly, and if something stops this stream of air, it can cause the brakes to lock up. You can learn more about commercial truck crashes on our webpage.