The Most Common Types of Truck Defects
Many Arizona truck accidents have little to do with driver negligence, impairment, or ineptitude, and can instead be traced to mechanical failures and defects within the truck itself. Truck defects can affect nearly every component of a truck in myriad ways, but certain defects are far more common than others and are especially likely to play a role in your case for compensation.
Most defects are caught well before trucks get onto the road, thanks to stringent maintenance regulations and frequent inspections. However, many defects do slip by undetected, especially when negligence is involved.
- Brake failures: Brake-related issues account for nearly 30% of all truck accidents, being the single most common type of truck defect by far. Without the ability to slow down rapidly or at all, truck drivers may find themselves incapable of avoiding an accident, which will then become especially lethal due to the speed and size of the truck.
- Tire blowouts: Commercial 18-wheeler trucks feature, as the name implies, 18 wheels. That’s 18 potential points of failure as compared to the average vehicle’s four, and just one blown-out tire can immediately result in a catastrophic tire blowout truck accident. Smaller trucks are similarly susceptible to tire blowout as well, especially over summer months and/ or with improper tire maintenance.
- Steering defects: Trucks feature far more complex steering systems than most other vehicles, creating a higher risk of failure. This, compounded with a truck’s natural lack of precise maneuverability and immense mass, means that any defect in a steering system can lead to overwhelming damages and fatalities.
- Broken lights, signals, and mirrors: Since lights and mirrors have nothing to do with the actual maneuverability and control of a truck, they’re often overlooked as peripheral components during maintenance. However, trucks are extremely dependent on seeing other vehicles and communicating their intentions, meaning that defects in any of these parts can be incredibly dangerous.
Understanding Truck Defect Liability
Once you’ve pinpointed the types of truck defects that played a role in your accident, you’ll still need to know who’s to blame. Liability for truck defects will usually fall to one of several key parties:
- Manufacturers seem like they’d be the obvious party to blame, but in practice, defects at the manufacturer level are usually caught and only very rarely cause accidents.
- Trucking companies and maintenance personnel tend to have the largest hand in causing or failing to notice defects,
- Truckers are rarely to blame for defects, yet may be liable if they failed to notice an obvious defect during their inspection or failed to perform an inspection altogether.
At times, multiple parties might be to blame, such as if a manufacturer distributed a faulty tire, and then a trucker failed to notice an obvious defect in that tire during regular inspections, leading to an accident. Cases such as this will bring up Arizona’s pure comparative fault system, in which liability is distributed among multiple negligent parties.
Consult an Arizona Truck Accident Attorney
Trucking companies and associated parties will rarely admit liability, especially in the context of negligence maintenance and repair. As such, you’ll need to apply legal pressure with the help of ELG’s Arizona truck accident attorneys, so be sure to give us a call at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation. We’ll simplify the claims process, shouldering that burden on your behalf while providing helpful advice on how you can get back to living your life comfortably as soon as possible.