Brakes are one of the most important safety features found on all vehicles. They allow drivers to stop when necessary and prevent accidents from happening. While every vehicle out operating on the roadway must have functioning brakes, it is especially important for trucking companies to inspect all of their trucks’ brakes to ensure they are free from defects. The fact is, large trucks need much more time to stop than the average passenger vehicle does so any brakes that are less than well-performing could interfere with the truck’s ability to stop in time to prevent an accident.
How long does it take for a truck to stop compared to a passenger vehicle?
Let’s take a typical tractor-trailer which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and a passenger vehicle which generally weighs between 3,000-4,000 pounds. Assuming both vehicles were traveling at about 65 mph, it would take the passenger vehicle about 316 feet to stop, which is nearly the length of one football field while it would take the truck about 525 feet to stop, which is almost two football fields [Source: Utah Department of Transportation]. It is for this reason and many others that a truck’s brakes must be in good condition and checked regularly to ensure that all parts are functioning and are replaced when needed.
Who is responsible for checking a truck’s brakes?
While most trucking companies are responsible for taking their vehicles in for maintenance, there are times when they allow their drivers to take a truck on the road that has worn-down and/or defective brakes. This puts the trucker at risk of engaging in a truck collision. In an effort to help prevent negligent or careless companies from allowing their poorly maintained or defective trucks to operate on the road, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), as well as other agencies, conduct unannounced vehicle inspections from time to time.
In fact, on May 15, 2019, law enforcement members working for the CVSA conducted a brake safety inspection on 10,358 commercial vehicles. Of those that were inspected, 16.1% or 1,667 had “brake-related critical vehicle inspection items.” The CVSA placed those vehicles out of service until the violations could be corrected. As shocking as it may be to learn that there were hundreds of commercial vehicles out on the road operating with unsafe brakes, including trucks, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that “more than half a million commercial motor vehicle violations in 2017 were related to brakes” [Source: CVSA].
What should I do if I was involved in an accident with a commercial truck driver in Sacramento, CA?
Depending on how serious the accident was and whether or not you suffered injuries, you might be entitled to recover compensation for your losses. With that said, you should contact a Sacramento, CA truck accident lawyer if you were involved in a truck wreck as they are the professionals who are qualified to determine if you are entitled to compensation. To get connected with a local attorney in Sacramento, CA, simply contact USAttorneys.com today.