Does a Lack of Maintenance Contribute to Truck Accidents?

truck tipped over on highway

One of the leading causes of truck accidents is poor vehicle maintenance. Read on for more information and contact a San Mateo County, California truck accident lawyer to discuss your situation.

What Potential Issues Result From Poor Maintenance?

There is a multitude of issues that can potentially arise if a truck is not properly maintained. The mechanics that go into creating a safe vehicle must be properly looked after, otherwise the following issues can occur.

  • The engine could fail. Without regular checks and maintenance, a truck can face random breakdowns. Unexpected stops or loss of power can cause an accident to occur, especially when the engine fails while the truck is on a busy street, in high-speed traffic, or on a hill or steep incline.
  • The transmission could malfunction. Similarly to engine failure, the transmission could malfunction if it is not properly cared for. This can cause the driver to be unable to shift gears and lose control of the vehicle.
  • The steering system may have issues. When maintenance is neglected, the steering column could be damaged or certain components may be worn or loose. When these things occur the maneuverability of the truck is compromised and the driver may not be able to steer properly.
  • The brake system could fail. The braking system is arguably the most important part of any vehicle. Without upkeep, brake pads can get worn down, fluid levels can become dangerously low, and brake lines or other functions can deteriorate or become defective.
  • A tire may blow out. When tires are not properly maintained it can compromise the vehicle’s stability and traction. Bald or deflated tires can lead to blowouts.
  • Safety functions could stop working. Turn signals, headlights, and tail lights are all important functions of a vehicle. If the truck’s turn signals or taillights malfunction, other cars won’t be able to tell when and where the truck plans to brake, change lanes, or make a turn. Additionally, if the headlights burn out it can create a visibility problem for the driver.

What Accidents Can a Lack of Truck Maintenance Cause?

Improper or neglected maintenance can cause a plethora of problems within the truck. However, the vehicle and truck driver are not the only ones affected by these issues. Many accidents result from these care issues.

When brakes are worn out or the system fails, rear-end collisions are bound to occur. If the car in front of the truck stops at a red light or stop sign, or has to brake unexpectedly for any reason, the truck driver may not be able to stop in time to avoid an accident.

If the truck’s turn signals or brake lights are burnt out it can cause an issue for the surrounding cars. Trucks make wide right turns and drivers should know not to pass on the right while they are turning. However, if the truck’s blinkers are not working properly a passenger vehicle driver may not realize their intent and enter the intersection or other danger zone.

If a truck loses its stability due to a blown tire, broken hitch, or steering malfunction, it can cause the vehicle to tip on its side and roll over. Other cars may become involved in the accident as well.

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