Nowadays, most commercial trucks traveling across North Carolina and the rest of the United States have air brake systems, which have service brakes, parking brakes, a control pedal and an air storage tank. To work properly, the air brake system needs to receive a steady stream of air from the storage tank, and it also needs a driver who understands he or she cannot rely on the brakes, by themselves, to get down steep hills safely. At the Law Office of W. Daniel Grist, PLLC, we understand that there is a clear link between trucker inexperience and air brake system failure, and we have helped many people injured because of inexperienced or negligent truck drivers seek appropriate recourse.
According to Transport Topics, failures within the air brake system can occur for several different reasons. In some cases, the systems can simply malfunction, which can prevent the air stream required to keep the brakes open from reaching them. When this happens, the brakes can end up applying themselves and locking up, rendering them unusable.
In other situations, it is a truck driver’s actions that contribute to the air brake system failure. In most cases, experienced and well-trained semi-truck drivers know not to rely on the brake systems, by themselves, to see their vehicles safely down hills. Instead, they know to engage the jake brake, if a truck has it, when maneuvering downhill, and they also typically know to apply the brakes only sporadically, so to avoid them potentially locking up.
Less-experienced truckers, however, are more likely to panic when traveling downhill and slam on the brakes as a result, even though doing so can lead to failures within the air brake system. You can find more about truck wrecks on our webpage.