Driving a commercial truck is not as simple as driving, say, a small passenger car, and for this reason, many truck drivers undergo extensive training before their employers allow them to get behind the wheel for long journeys. Unfortunately, not all trucking industry employers uphold stringent training standards, and when truckers lack adequate training or experience, they potentially endanger everyone they encounter on the roadway.
Often, modern commercial trucking accidents result from brake failure issues. While some brake system issues develop because of problems or malfunctions with the braking components themselves, others result because of truck driver inexperience or due to a lack of proper training. Brake failure issues are particularly common when commercial trucks are traveling down steep hills, and there are two types of air brake failure issues that are especially common.
Issues resulting from the systems, themselves
In some instances, brake failure issues develop not necessarily because a driver lacks training or experience but because the air brake system itself, is in some way faulty. Air brakes need to maintain a steady stream of air to stay open and functional, and if anything inhibits this air stream, it may cause the brake system to automatically apply itself. When this occurs, the brakes may lock up, at which point there is only so much a trucker can do to avoid truck crashes.
Issues resulting from truck driver inexperience
In other cases, the actions of an inexperienced or improperly trained truck driver may lead to brake failure issues. Often, truck drivers who lack experience or training tend to “over-rely” on a truck’s braking system when heading downhill, essentially slamming on the brakes, even though doing so can lead to additional problems. Typically, more experienced and well-trained truckers know to use their air brakes sporadically when navigating downhill, as opposed to depressing the brakes for prolonged periods, which may result in them catching fire.
The air brake system is arguably the most important component of a modern commercial truck, so anything that interferes with its ability to work properly poses a serious threat to the entire motoring public.