Brake Failure and Truck Accidents

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Commercial trucks spend a long time on the road, increasing their chances of getting mechanical issues such as brake failure. According to the US Department of Transportation, about 30% of truck accidents occur due to brake failure in the United States.

Commercial vehicle operators are responsible for ensuring their trucks are in good condition for the roads. One of the important things to maintain regularly is the braking system. Trucks have safeguards that provide protection in case the braking system experiences problems, but brake failure can lead to an accident in the blink of an eye.

You can hold the trucking company liable for compensation if you have sustained injuries from a brake failure truck accident. An experienced attorney in South Carolina can help you with your claim.

Our legal team offers comprehensive representation to injured people in Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Lake Wylie, and the surrounding areas. Here is a look at truck brake failure accidents’ common causes and the liable parties.

Causes of Truck Brake Failure

Large trucks have complex braking systems to withstand heavy strain. However, they require regular maintenance to operate correctly.

Truck owners are required by law to perform regular inspections to ensure it is working properly. However, there are still 450,000 brake violations that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) identifies during inspections.

Here are the reasons why a truck’s brake fails.

Defective brake system

Defective brakes are a minor cause of brake failure that usually go unnoticed. Truck brakes are designed to follow a standard design with no changes.

Poor maintenance

A braking system that is not maintained regularly can lead to brakes with mismatched components, imbalanced brakes, and leaks. FMCSA found that 181,000 violations were due to unadjusted brakes.

Trucking companies lose money for every hour the truck is not on the road. They may need to increase revenue by postponing truck maintenance. If a truck remains without maintenance, they are likely to fail.

Design defects

Truck parts manufacturers must ensure they sell products that meet safety standards. Design defects are natural in manufacturing, but if not caught in time can lead to brake failure. Even a single flaw during manufacturing is enough to affect the brake’s efficiency and lead to an accident. At times, the truck brakes will fail due to poor manufacturing processes.

Untrained drivers

Commercial vehicle truck drivers must go through training before being allowed to drive. Braking techniques are one of the training they’ll go through. If a truck driver is not well trained, they can tap the brakes too much when driving on a steep downhill, which will cause the brakes to become overheated.

Who is Liable for a Truck Brake Failure Accident?

Several parties can be held responsible for the accident injuries that result from a brake failure. They include:

Truck owner

Truck owners may fail to maintain their rigs to save on costs. Poorly maintained brakes lead to a collision and someone getting injured. In that case, the truck owner could be held liable.

Truck company

If a truck company hires an unqualified truck driver, the driver’s error can cause operator-related brake failure. Therefore, the trucking company will be liable if the brake failure leads to an accident.

Brakes parts manufacturer

Part manufacturers can be responsible for brake failure accidents when their products break under otherwise ordinary conditions.


If a truck is maintained regularly but still has unsafe brakes, the mechanics may have failed to fix the issues. When the brakes fail, the mechanic may be the responsible party.

Truck Drivers

Drivers have to inspect their vehicles before going on a trip. They also have to drive safely and avoid tailgating or speeding and putting undue strain on their semi’s braking system.

An attorney will investigate to determine which party is at fault. At times, more than one person is to blame for the brake failure accident.

How Our South Carolina Brake Failure Truck Accident Attorney Can Help

Most brake failure accident victims take a long time to heal due to a catastrophic injury they suffered. We know there’s a genuine concern among victims and their families about making ends meet. That is where Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys comes in.

Our truck accident lawyers will independently investigate who is accountable for the brake failure. We will collect medical records and all the evidence needed to build a solid case.

We believe you deserve to know about your legal rights — you don’t have anything to lose. Give us a call anytime 24/7 to get a free consultation.

Truck Accident Brake Failure FAQs

Why is brake failure common in truck accidents?

Drivers need specialized training to operate brakes, and inattention to the wear and tear on the braking system can cause brake failure.

What should I do after a brake failure accident?

Even though most brake failure leads to serious injuries, others can be minor. Once you get into an accident, you should seek medical attention, contact the police, and get relevant information.

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