Automotive parts manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are reasonably able to withstand foreseeable demands of road travel. Should one of their products have a defect, a serious accident could result that leads to catastrophic injuries or death—and the manufacturer or another party could be liable for damages.
Companies that produce parts for semi-trucks have to meet strict safety standards at every stage of the manufacturing process because commercial vehicles undergo a lot more wear and tear than standard passenger vehicles. The brake pads need to have more stopping power, for example, because a fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds.
Even the most experienced truck drivers can lose control of a vehicle if a critical component fails. And after such a collision, anyone who is injured can pursue compensation from the product manufacturer, designer, or another party that played a role in its development or distribution.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common—and preventable—defects that make it almost impossible to operate a big rig safely:
- Compromised Brakes
Tractor-trailers need responsive brakes. If any component of the vehicle’s braking system is compromised, the truck may require greater stopping distance, thus increasing the risk of a rear-end collision or an intersection accident.
- Weak Tires
Motor carriers are responsible for maintaining their fleet’s tires to a reasonable standard. This includes inflating them to the proper PSI before every trip, adjusting their pressure once the cargo is loaded, and replacing them after the treads have worn down.
Should the tires be defective from the start, though, even the most diligent maintenance might not prevent a blowout. Before putting tires on the market, manufacturers must test them thoroughly so they can assign each model the proper speed rating. They must also ensure the materials they use—including the skim stock and solvents—are not outdated. Finally, they must confirm the design does not allow for debeading under normal circumstances.
- Faulty Steering
Every aspect of a semi-truck’s steering mechanism must be in good working order to ensure safe road travel. This includes the steering wheel, ball joints, gears, hydraulic lines, tie rods, and power-steering pump. If any one of these parts is defective, the driver’s ability to control the direction of the vehicle will be compromised.
- Problematic Fuel Tank
Fuel tank issues are especially dangerous because they can cause explosions even when the vehicle isn’t in motion. Everything from the placement of the fuel tank to the functionality of the fuel lines and pumps will affect the safety of the truck.
Call 877-231-1600 for a Free Consultation with a Jackson Truck Accident Attorney
If you were hurt in a truck accident caused by some kind of defect or malfunction, contact Coxwell & Associates. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and gather the evidence needed to prove negligence and the value of your damages. Call 877-231-1600 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case review with a truck accident lawyer in Jackson
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.