Most truck drivers are very well-trained in all aspects of their trade. However, there are times when a trucker improperly brakes and causes an accident.
It’s simple physics that a large mass in motion will take longer, over a greater distance to stop than a smaller mass. That is the way it is with big trucks. In addition, because of their massive size and weight, the damage they can do in a motor vehicle accident can be grave.
How improper braking can cause truck accidents
- Downhill driving and improper braking: If a trucker over uses his brakes while going downhill, the brakes can overheat and fail. When going downhill, truck drivers should decrease their speed sufficiently, in order to maintain control of their vehicle, without the need for excessive braking.
- Excessive speed around curves: Truck drivers should avoid entering a curve at excessive speed, which would require them to be extra hard on their brakes. In such a scenario, he can end up in a skid, jackknife, or a rollover accident.
- Improper use of brake retarders: Retarders are used to slow down a truck and protect the brakes from excessive wear and tear. However, if a truck driver uses his retarders when the roads are icy, snowy or wet, the wheels can lose traction, sending him into an uncontrollable skid.
- Improper distance and braking with a full or empty load: It takes longer for a truck with an empty load to stop, than it does a truck with a full load because because there is less traction. Not leaving sufficient space between vehicles when driving with an empty load is very dangerous and can lead to a serious accident.
- Wet brakes on trucks and cars can both cause accidents: Cars and trucks with wet brakes can both fail to work. Wet brakes can grab, or lose strength causing the brakes to lock up. This can result in a skid, jackknifing or a rollover accident. Truck drivers should avoid deep puddles and in adverse weather conditions, should reduce speed and shift into low gear.
The above are just some of the ways improper braking by truck drivers can cause serious motor vehicle wrecks. You should always keep a safe distance from a big rig, whenever possible, for your safety and for that of others on the roadway.
Group Matrix Blog – January 10, 2017 – by Sharon Bowles