Law Offices of Nooney Roberts Hewett & Nowicki :


If you’ve recently been involved in a truck accident, you may be wondering if the accident was
caused by mechanical failure. In 2019, more than 4,100 people died in large truck crashes in the
United States, with more than 118,000 trucks involved in accidents that caused an injury.
Unfortunately, mechanical failure is one of the most common reasons for truck accidents in the
U.S., with issues involving brakes and tires being particularly common.

With decades years of combined experience representing vehicle accident victims, Nooney,
Roberts, Hewett & Nowicki is the preeminent law firm that other attorneys turn to for help. We
focus on serving clients throughout Florida including those in the following localities: Duval
County including Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville, and Jacksonville Beach; Clay County including
Green Cove Springs, Keystone Heights, Lakeside, Middleburg, and Orange Park; Flagler County
including Palm Coast; Nassau County including Callahan, Fernandina Beach, and Yulee; Putnam
County including Interlachen and Palatka; and St. Johns County including Fruit Cove, Palm
Valley, Ponte Vedra Beach, St. Augustine, and St. Johns.

In this article, we’ll review some of the key most common reasons for truck mechanical failures.
We’ll also review the situations in which a truck company, manufacturer, or other party may be
held liable for damages that resulted from a mechanical failure that led to a truck accident.

The Most Common Types of Maintenance and Mechanical Failures in Truck Accidents

Some of the most common types of mechanical issues that may result in a truck accident include:

▪ Failure in trailer hook up
▪ Brake failure
▪ Loss of running or directional lights
▪ Tire blowouts and tire tread separation
▪ Truck transmission failure
▪ Truck engine overheating

Some of the most common types of mechanical issues that may result in a truck accident include:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is tasked with regulating the
trucking industry for the safety of truck drivers and others on the road. FMCSA rules include
maximum hours of service to prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue. Additionally, the
truckers and carriers must comply with regulations regarding inspection, repair, and
maintenance. These rules forbid any unsafe operation that is likely to cause an accident or
vehicle breakdown. The FMCSA rules also maintain the following list of parts and accessories
necessary for safe operation that must be present and in good condition:

▪ Brakes and brake systems
▪ Tires
▪ Mirrors

▪ Lights and signals
▪ Safety equipment

Maintenance Neglect in Tires

Tires are extremely important to the safe operation of trucks. From supporting massive loads and
miles of travel, semi-truck tires should be replaced, inspected, and repaired thoroughly and
regularly. There are a wide variety of rules that must be followed regarding truck tire
maintenance. Unfortunately, problematic tire maintenance can lead to disaster. Improper
maintenance of semi-truck tires can manifest in a variety of ways, such as late or missed tire
inspections or failure to maintain tire pressure.

In fact, data shows that about 80% of the roadside tire failures result from creeping air loss. As
one might expect, the chief cause of truck tire air loss is lack of essential maintenance. Tire
pressures should be checked every week, at least. Fortunately, regular truck tire maintenance can
greatly reduce the likelihood of an accident.

In addition to maintaining correct tire pressure, it’s essential to have the right tires for the job. If
a truck runs approximately half of its operation time in an off-road environment, but the tires are
strictly on-highway tires, this presents a potential tire-killing situation. Taking advantage of an
application-specific tire will significantly help with the tire’s — and ultimately the vehicle’s —
performance and productivity.

Any condition causing truck tires to fail to run straight and make constant and consistent contact
with the pavement will also accelerate wear. Misalignment is another issue that causes premature
wear on tires. Tire misalignment can occur in many forms, from drive axles being out of
alignment to bad steering geometry. Loose wheel bearings, bent axles, or axles that flex
excessively can also cause rapid wear of the inner shoulder of the inner tire on a dual wheel. In
addition, worn shock absorbers will begin to allow a tire to bounce more than it should,
impacting the tire’s contact, and thus its overall wear.

Most Common Types of Trucking Negligence

Several of the most common examples of negligence leading to truck mechanical failure

Drivers skipping daily inspections: The FMCSA requires truck drivers to document daily vehicle
inspections. An inspection report must be done at the end of each workday and turned in to the
carrier. A driver should not drive until they are confident the cab and trailer are safe to operate.

Poor maintenance: Truck companies may be guilty of negligence if their employees intentionally
do not fulfill regular repairs or maintenance tasks in between trips. Even if a contractor makes a
repair, they may sometimes make the repair incorrectly, which may leave the vehicle in an even
more damaged state. Incorrect repairs are another common cause of trucking accidents and can
often lead to liability for trucking companies and contractors.

Carriers ignore defect notifications: If a driver or maintenance worker notices a problem on or in
the vehicle, they notify the carrier it needs to be looked at further or repaired. However, if this
notification is ignored, it becomes negligent.

Failure to inspect the brakes: One of the most important parts of a truck are the brakes.
Unfortunately, many trucking companies do not require constant brake inspections, or often skip
required inspections.

Failure to inspect and replace tires: A trucker’s tires need to be in great condition to make trips
safely, considering the weight of trucks and the speed at which they travel. Failing to inspect tire
tread and pressure can lead to catastrophe.

Who is Responsible for Truck Mechanical Defects?

In most cases, a specific employee or group of employers are directly responsible for the
maintenance of a particular truck. Legally however, the trucking company in question is
typically responsible for any actions trucking employees complete while on the clock.
Depending on the situation, the driver, a member of the maintenance team, of the trucking
company will be responsible for the accident and any injuries you may experience. While a
specific worker may be directly responsible for your accident, it’s much easier to achieve
compensation from the employing business.

In addition, it’s important to realize that truck inspection violations and neglected maintenance
are quite common. Therefore, these issues are contributing factors to a large percentage of
trucking accidents. Since these factors are clear signs of company negligence, lawsuits can often
be filed to recover damages. These damages can cover medical bills, loss of income and other
expenses associated with the accident.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a trucking accident, the lawyers at Nooney,
Roberts, Hewett & Nowicki can help you. We welcome your questions! We are committed to
helping you get the maximum compensation for your injuries, including medical bills, lost
income, disability, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. Call us today at (904)
398-1992 for your free consultation.

1680 Emerson St
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Copyright © 2022, Law Offices of Nooney, Roberts, Hewett & Nowicki

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