The amount of time it takes a large commercial vehicle, which may weigh up to 80,000 pounds, to come to a complete stop takes twice as long as a passenger vehicle operating at the same speed. Unfortunately, this is only accurate if the commercial vehicle’s brakes are in proper working condition. ReadingEagle.com recently published a report detailing frequent findings of brake deficiencies in large semi trucks during routine safety inspections across the nation. Brake deficiencies consistently top the list of violations discovered during these state police conducted inspections. Our Chicago truck accident attorneys read that when a large commercial vehicle travels with poorly maintained or out of adjustment brakes, it significantly affects their ability to stop – which may ultimately play a contributing factor in semi truck accidents that results in injury or even death.
According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, more than half of the trucks taken out of service this year during roadside inspections were for brake-related violations. The executive director of the CVSA commented on the issue stating that, “brakes are a major factor in being able to operate a commercial vehicle safely and continue to be cited as one of the leading factors in semi truck accidents due to defects and improper maintenance and adjustment.” With the increase in commercial vehicle safety within the past month, with initiatives such as Operation Safe Driver, state troopers patrolling our roadways nationwide are frequently inspecting large commercial vehicles for excessive weight, equipment violations, driver violations (exceeding hours of service), in addition to, brake deficiencies.
Research conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently determined that brake deficiencies account for over 30% of large truck accidents each year. Some of the most common brake deficiencies include: excessive wear of brake components, improper brake pressure balance, or out of adjustment brakes. In the event of an Illinois semi truck accident, the truck driver as well as his/her trucking carrier may be found liable for negligence if the vehicle had not been properly maintained or inspected prior to travel. Drivers have a duty to themselves and others to operate their vehicles safely and maintain proper vehicle maintenance. When that duty is breached and injuries occur, legal action can and should be sought.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of an accident at the hands of negligent driver, please contact an Illinois personal injury lawyer to see what legal rights may be available to you.