Can Poor Truck Maintenance Cause an Accident?

truck accident on highway

Proper maintenance is paramount in any motor vehicle, but especially in trucks and tractor trailers. These vehicles are huge and heavy, meaning that any accident they are involved in will cause a severe amount of damage and injury. Properly maintaining trucks is the best way to avoid unnecessary accidents and destruction. If you were involved in an accident that you believe was caused by poor truck maintenance, acquire help from a Middlesex County truck accident attorney to begin the legal process of pursuing compensation.

How Can a Lack of Maintenance Cause Malfunctions?

When a truck does not go through regular and proper maintenance, rust can build up, parts can get worn, and malfunctions are bound to occur. The following issues can result from poor or neglected maintenance.

  • Burnt out headlights or taillights resulting in poor visibility for the driver
  • Defective blinkers or turn signals causing other drivers to be unable to anticipate the truck driver’s next move
  • Worn or bald tires with no traction causing blowouts
  • Worn brake pads to the point where the driver cannot slow down or stop in time to avoid an accident
  • Worn windshield wipers creating a lack of visibility in inclement weather
  • Engine failure causing the truck to break down or stop suddenly
  • Transmission failure from worn gears not allowing the driver to control or shift gears
  • Damage to the steering column causing steering failure and the driver to lose control of the vehicle
  • Broken trailer hitch joints resulting in the trailer disconnecting from the truck

What Are Common Accidents Caused by Poor Truck Maintenance?

As a result of the above, accidents are sure to take place. Some accidents are more common than others depending on what the malfunction was.

  1. Rear end: If the truck’s brake pads are worn or one of the braking systems has a malfunction, it can cause the truck driver to be unable to come to a complete stop in a timely manner. This can result in a rear-end collision with the car in front of them.
  2. Lost load: When the pivot joint of the trailer is not checked or maintained it could break during transit. If the cargo inside the truck was not properly secured, it could shift leading to an imbalanced load. Either of these issues can cause the trailer or cargo to break away or fall off the truck, resulting in serious hazards for other drivers.
  3. Rollover: If tires are not properly maintained and a blowout occurs, it can cause the truck to become unstable. Depending on where the tire was, the cargo on board, and the speed of the truck, the vehicle may tip and roll over one or more times.
  4. Jackknife: A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer swings to one side or the other, not maintaining a direct line behind the front of the truck. This can occur when there is a steering malfunction and can cause a severe risk to the other cars on the road.

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