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Almost 30% of semitruck crashes involve air brake failure

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Most of the time, when cars and commercial trucks collide in New Jersey, it is the people traveling in the smaller vehicle who experience the most severe injuries or fatalities. Sharing the road with commercial trucks involves inherent risks. Among the most notable risks associated with semitrucks is that of the truck’s air brake system failing. 

Transport Topics reports that air brake failure issues have become so pervasive in trucking that they now contribute to 29.4% of all semitruck wrecks. Most instances of air brake failure arise because of one of two circumstances. In some cases, truck crashes arise because a problem arises within the brake system, itself. More often, though, air brake failure occurs because the individual driving the truck makes an avoidable error. 

Crashes caused by brake system failures

Air brakes work when a steady airstream keeps them open and functioning. If something within the system is faulty or causes this airstream to stop, the brakes automatically lock and apply themselves. This may contribute to truck wrecks by making the driver lose control over the commercial vehicle. 

Crashes caused by truck driver mistakes

Research shows that truck driver errors contribute to 87% of all truck crashes. Trucker mistakes may lead to air brake failure if the trucker relies too heavily on the brakes when traveling down big hills. If a trucker regularly over-relies on the brake system, this may also lead to premature brake fade and inferior brake performance. 

While trucker mistakes are the top cause of all truck crashes, air brake failure is the most common equipment-related contributor to truck wrecks.