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How Often Does Defective Equipment Cause Truck Accidents?

Posted on in Truck Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois truck accident lawyer,In January of 2014, two Ohio men were killed when a tractor trailer hitch failed and the 12-ton trailer the truck was hauling became detached. Both young fathers were traveling on the interstate when the trailer plowed into their vehicles. It took almost two years before the company that manufactured that trailer hitch finally admitted the trailer hitch was defective and issued a recall.

The Alabama company did not even begin investigating complaints about the hitch until 17 months after the fatal accident. According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the locking mechanism can erode over time and this causes the pin, which is supposed to lock the trailer and tractor together, to become loose. The company issued a recall for 6,800 hitches, which were sold to Daimler, Kenworth, Mack, Navistar, Kenworth, Peterbilt, and Volvo. The company stopped manufacturing this particular model in 2013.

One of the most common causes of truck accidents is defective equipment. National statistics show that 55 percent of trucks involved in accidents had at least one mechanical violation, and 30 percent of those vehicles had such damaged equipment prior to the accident, it should have been taken off the road immediately. The most common damaged or defective equipment were brakes, with 36 percent. Light systems failures came in as the second malfunction, with just under 20 percent.

Another common defective equipment issue on tractor trailers includes defective underride guards. These guards are bars which are attached to the rear of the trailer and are supposed to prevent vehicles from sliding under the trailer during a rear-end vehicle accident, where it can become crushed. However, all too often, those guards fail, primarily because they are not manufactured strong enough. One study, conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found three points of failure on these guards, including a weak attachment point where the bars were attached to the trailer.

A second common equipment issue which causes truck accidents are defective tires. In a report last year, The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the system that is in place to recall defective tires is “broken” and that only one in five recalled tires are ever actually taken out of service.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a truck accident, contact an experienced Lake County accident attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for your pain and loss. Call the law firm of Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303 today to schedule a consultation.







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