Brake Failure and Truck Crashes
Overheated brakes and other mechanical failures can lead to devastating consequences for commercial vehicle drivers, like increasing the possibility of being involved in a serious collision. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) Large Truck Crash Causation Study, 29% of crashes resulted from brake-related issues, the highest among any critical factors.
Because of this prevalence, it's essential that commercial drivers be able to identify the signs of overheating brakes and how they contribute to accident risks.
What are Hot Brakes?
Commonly referred to as "hot brakes," the signs of overheating and potential brake failure should be taken into account whenever they occur. If you begin to notice any of these issues, it’s essential to seek maintenance as soon as possible:
- A burning smell.
- A change in the way it feels when you brake, like grinding or too much give.
- Squealing or other noises.
It's important to remember that not remedying the signs of overheating brakes could cause more issues with your overall system. Likewise, the ability to use your brakes could be greatly inhibited, leading to an increased risk of losing control of the truck, resulting in a potentially serious collision.
How Does this Issue Occur?
It's common for drivers to brake hard when going downhill so as to not generate significant speeds and lose control. However, even in a large truck, this hard braking has been shown to cause significant wear and tear on a vehicle and increase the likelihood of hot brakes. For this reason and many others, truck drivers and trucking companies should remain diligent in teaching drivers the right way to drive downhill and when to seek necessary maintenance.
Queens Trucking Accident Attorneys
Hot brakes are not unique to truck drivers, and every road user should know when their vehicle could pose a high risk of a mechanical-related crash. Not remedying these issues could be considered negligence in some cases, so it's essential to take necessary precautions.