Truck accidents are often caused by the mistakes of truck drivers or the negligence of the trucking companies that employ them. But did you know that many truck accident cases can be traced back to the negligence of an unexpected third party: a truck part manufacturer?
When a vehicle part fails unexpectedly, it can cause the driver to lose control and get into a crash. This issue is true for drivers of small passenger vehicles and drivers of enormous semi-trucks and big rigs.
Commercial truck parts that can cause a crash if they fail include:
- Brakes: Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds in most cases without violating Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. To bring that much weight to a stop in a relatively short distance, trucks need to be equipped with strong and effective braking systems. If there is a defect in the brakes of a semi-truck, then the result can be a terrible collision caused by an out-of-control truck on the freeway.
- Tires: Trucks have more tires than the average vehicle. In fact, some are called 18-wheelers because they have that many tires. Even though they have extra tires, they are all still necessary to keep the vehicle grounded and easily controlled by the trucker. If a tire bursts while the truck is in motion, then the trucker could find themselves in an abrupt fight with the truck to keep it in its lane.
- Transmissions: A transmission failure can cause severe damage to a truck’s internal components. Depending on the type and extent of the transmission failure, it could ultimately result in a loss of control over the vehicle.
- Steering column: Losing control of the steering of a commercial truck can be the direct cause of a catastrophic truck accident. Steering column failures often happen suddenly, so the truck driver has no warning and no way of pulling off to the side of the road before it happens.
- Trailer hitches: When the trailer hitch of a semi-truck fails, it is practically guaranteed to cause a truck accident as the trailer falls off into the road behind the truck. Any drivers who are behind the truck will be put in extreme and sudden danger.
Who is Liable for Truck Part Defects?
Truckers and trucking companies have an obligation to routinely inspect their trucks for defects and damage. If a defect is caused due to a lack of maintenance, then these parties can be responsible for any related crashes.
However, if a defect is caused due to a manufacturer error, then the liability can be placed on the company that made that truck part. A careful investigation and inspection with the assistance of a mechanical engineer might be necessary to determine why the defect occurred.
If you were in a truck accident that was caused by a defective truck part, then you should speak with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. They can assist you with all steps of your claim, including any work that must be conducted alongside an outside expert. To speak with an attorney from Farmer & Klopfer about your crash, fill out an online contact form today.