Most truck crashes occur because of either something faulty within the truck itself or because the person driving the truck makes an error or poor judgment call. Brake failure issues, which contribute to a large percentage of today’s commercial truck crashes, also occur because of these circumstances.

According to Transport Topics, air brake failure is a contributor to 29.4% of all truck crashes. Sometimes, brake failure issues are the result of a fundamental problem that occurs within the actual brake system. Other times, they occur because a truck driver relies too much on the brakes when maneuvering the truck down a steep hill.

System issues

A truck’s air brake system relies on an air stream to keep the brakes working as they should. In some instances, something faulty within the system stops the flow of compressed air, which may lock the brakes and cause the driver to lose control of the truck.

Truck driver negligence

When truckers rely too much on their brakes to navigate steep hills, it may lead to overuse and brake fade. This is a behavior that is more common among younger truckers who lack the experience that their older colleagues have.

Research shows that inexperienced truckers are more likely to hit the brakes hard and keep them depressed while traveling downhill, even though they should use their brake systems only sporadically under these circumstances. Drivers with less experience are also more likely to panic if they see smoke when they use their brakes, which may cause them to press them even harder. In one study involving nearly 970 truck crashes, truck driver errors contributed to 87% of them.

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