Truck Accidents Caused by Worn or Defective Truck Parts

There are several common causes of truck accidents. One of the ways the Virginia truck accident attorneys see in the cases we handle is defective truck parts. Despite the fact that truck part manufacturers have a duty of care to design and produce safe parts and truck companies have a duty of care to inspect and maintain their fleets, far too many trucks with defective parts are on the roads today, causing devastating accidents that result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities.

If you have been injured in a truck accident caused by worn or defective parts, call Shapiro, Appleton, & Washburn to speak with one of our dedicated Virginia truck accident attorney to find out what legal options you may have. In the meantime, the following is a brief overview of the most common defective truck parts.

Defective Brakes

One of the most common causes of truck accidents is brake failure. This is why it is critical that truck brakes are inspected on a regular basis to make sure they are in good working order and there are no signs of any problems. Part of this inspection should include checking brake hoses and brake lines. Brakes should also adhere to the requirements set forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation, such as having enough braking power to handle the weight of the loaded tractor-trailer.

Steering Components

If the ball joints of a truck become worn down or damaged, this can cause difficulty in turning the vehicle’s wheels and result in broken steering components. Even poor alignment or bad shock absorbers can result in steering issues. A truck driver who loses steering control of an 80,000-pound vehicle can have tragic consequences for any other motorists in their path.

Tire Issues

Defective tires, poorly maintained tires, and worn tires can all result in fatal truck crashes. It is important for truck drivers to regularly check the tire pressure and tread depth and to keep an eye out for any kind of tread separation, especially since trucks travel hundreds – if not thousands – of miles every week. Any sign of cracks, cuts, or splitting should indicate the need to change the tires.

Headlight and Taillight Issues

Many tractor-trailer drivers do a lot of their driving at night. If the truck’s headlights or taillights are not working the way they should, this can hamper the truck driver’s ability to see other vehicles or other vehicle drivers to see the truck. This can result in tragic, often fatal, crashes. Truck drivers should always verify all their lights, including turn signals, are in good working order.

Underride Guards

If you look at the rear of a tractor-trailer, you will see underride guards. They are mounted above the bottom of tires and under doors. These guards are installed in order to stop a vehicle from sliding under the truck in a rear-end collision. But if the guards are not properly installed or have some type of defect, they could fail in the event of a crash, allowing the car to end up under the truck. Most of these crashes result in fatalities.

Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers may seem like a small item when looking at all the other working parts of a large tractor-trailer, but they play a pivotal role in how well a truck driver can see the road in bad weather driving. Wipers all need to effectively clean any debris or splatter that could get splashed on the truck’s windshield, such as mud or water, by passing vehicles that could hamper the driver’s ability to see out the windshield. Truck drivers should keep an eye out for any wearing or tearing of their wipers, as well as any issue with the functioning of the wipers.

Contact a Virginia Truck Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in any type of truck accident, contact a Virginia truck accident attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have. Truck accident cases can be complex, and it is not uncommon for there to be multiple at-fault parties who are responsible for the payment of financial damages you may be entitled to for your injuries. Our personal injury firm has successfully represented many injured victims and their families and we are happy to meet with you and offer legal guidance on what the best options may be for your circumstances.