The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that nearly 5,000 Americans are killed in large commercial truck accidents every year. Many thousands more innocent people suffer severe injuries. As large trucks create an inherent risk on our roadways, trucking companies have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that their fleet is safe.
Corporations must thoroughly screen and train their drivers and make sure that trucks are properly inspected and well maintained. A significant number of truck accidents happen because of truck defects. In this article, our Spokane truck accident accident lawyers highlight common truck defects that contribute to crashes in Washington.
Six Common Defects that Make Highways Less Safe
When fully loaded, a tractor trailer can weigh as much as 40 tons. These massive vehicles still fly down the highway as 50, 60, 70 miles per hour. Even a seemingly minor truck defect is a very serious safety hazard. Here are some of the most frequently observed truck defects:
- Worn Down Tires: A large truck with defective or worn down tires is a safety hazard. Trucking companies must ensure that transportation vehicles are properly equipped with the appropriate tires for the road and weather conditions.
- Bad Brakes: It takes a tremendous amount of force to bring a fully loaded commercial truck to a safe and complete stop. It is crucial that large trucks have well-functioning brakes. When the brakes are worn down, mechanical service is required.
- Burned Out or Defective Lights: Whether it is headlights, brake lights, or other lights that identify the trailer, all trucks must have working safety lights. Burned out lights should be replaced immediately.
- Steering Issues: It is physically impossible for a trucker to safely operate a truck if the power steering is defective. Trucking companies should regularly inspect steering and suspension systems.
- Defective Trailer Attachments: The trailer attachment is one of the most important safety features on an eighteen wheeler. A defective trailer attachment could result in the trailer swinging out into another lane on a busy highway. Even worse, the trailer could become detached.
- Unsecured or Poorly Loaded Cargo: Unsecured cargo is a truck defect. Trucking companies must put forward the time and resources to ensure that employees—and their partner companies—know how to load cargo the right way.
Every large truck accident in Eastern Washington requires a comprehensive, independent investigation. You need to know exactly what happened and why it happened. If a truck defect contributed to your crash (and your injuries), the responsible company must be held accountable.
Get Help From a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer in Spokane, WA
At Albrecht Law PLLC, our Spokane motor vehicle attorneys have extensive experience handling commercial truck accident injury claims. If you or your loved one was hurt in a crash caused by a truck defect, we will protect your rights. Contact us now to get a free review of your case. We represent truck accident victims in Spokane and throughout all of Eastern Washington.