Truckers must rely on more than their braking systems when traveling down steep hills, or they run the risk of the system failing and endangering you and anyone else in their paths. When a commercial truck’s air brake system fails, the trucker may not be able to prevent the truck from gaining speed while making its way downhill. The faster the truck is moving, the higher the chances are of it colliding with your own vehicle.

According to Transport Topics, air brake failure issues are quite common in commercial trucking. A recent study involving 967 semitruck crashes found that brake failure issues contributed to 29.4% of them. Trucker mistakes were also an issue in 87% of these cases, and in some instances, brake failure issues and trucker errors together contributed to semitruck crashes.

System failures

While driver errors are common factors in truck crashes, air brake systems also sometimes fail even when the driver does nothing wrong. To work as designed, air brakes need a steady stream of air that keeps them open and functioning as they should. If a system failure stops this airflow, the brakes may lock and apply themselves, causing the driver to lose control.

Operator failures

In many commercial truck crashes, the air brakes fail because the truck driver rides them too much, as opposed to pressing them here and there. When a trucker relies on the air brakes, alone, to stop the truck, it may cause them to get too hot, which in turn may lead them to catch on fire, again resulting in the driver losing control.

Find more about truck crashes involving brake failure on our webpage.