Watching a commercial truck approach in your rearview mirror may prove unnerving, and it may be especially so if you are making your way down a steep hill. Trucks require more to stop than smaller passenger vehicles, and if anything interferes with the truck’s braking system, it could spell big trouble for you and everyone else in the truck’s path.

According to Transport Topics, air brake systems, which most modern semi-trucks have, are prone to fail in two ways. Research shows that failures of these systems contribute to 29.4% of today’s commercial truck wrecks. How do air brake systems fail?

Because of driver errors

When a truck driver lacks experience, he or she often becomes more prone to “riding” the brake when traveling downhill. Overuse of the brake system may cause the brakes to fail prematurely, though. Rather than rely only on the brakes to get downhill safely, experienced truck drivers know that they should use them sporadically under these circumstances. They may, too, use other truck features, such as jake brakes, to maneuver their vehicles down steep hills.

Because of malfunctions within the system

In some instances, air brake systems malfunction in the absence of a driver error. If anything happens that prevents the airstream necessary to keep the brakes operational from flowing, it may cause the brakes to apply themselves. This may cause them to lock, which in turn makes it more difficult for the truck driver to maintain control over the vehicle.

Find more information about commercial truck wrecks caused by driver errors or system malfunctions by visiting our webpage.