One of the critical differences between a car/pickup truck and a tactor-trailer is stopping distances. Tractor-trailers can require up to 50% more distance to stop — assuming the brakes and truck are properly maintained, the weather and road condition are good, and the driver is properly trained.
At a typical highway speed of 60 miles an hour, a tractor-trailer requires 450 feet after the brakes are applied before it can come to complete stop. A football field is only 300 feet by comparison.
I am seeing more wrecks caused by bad brakes, usually due to careless maintenance.The brakes on these massive semi-trucks are responsible for 10 times the amount of stopping power of a car. Truck brakes operate on a compressed pressure air system. The brakes inside the wheel must be in proper “adjustment” in order to be effective to stop an 18 wheeler.
Truck drivers and trucking companies are required by Federal and State law to inspect the braking system prior to each trip out on the road. In reality, these brake safety checks are rarely done. Truck brakes are rarely replaced until they are worn to the nubs, or in the event the truck has an accident or ‘close call.’ A truck with bad brakes is a serious safety hazard and is in violation of numerous federal safety regulations.
If you suspect that defective or improperly maintained brakes are to blame for a crash that you were involved in, it is critical to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. He can act quickly and obtain a court order requiring the trucking company to preserve the truck in its current condition.
A Texas truck accident lawyer will assist you by immediately sending evidence preservation demands to the trucking company, truck driver, and insurance company. These demands will specifically list the brake pads, brake hoses, and air system as evidence that must be preserved.