Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Complimentary Consultations Available
Tulsa Personal Injury Lawyers > Blog > Truck Accident > Brake Failure is a Common Cause of Truck Accidents in Oklahoma

Brake Failure is a Common Cause of Truck Accidents in Oklahoma


Every day, drivers in Tulsa share the road with commercial vehicles. Just because they have become a commonplace sight on our roadways does not, however, mean that they don’t pose a risk to other road users. In fact, collisions between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles can and do happen all the time, often with little to no warning. This especially tends to be the case in situations where the brakes on the larger truck fail suddenly, leaving other motorists in the path of vehicles that are often 20 to 30 times the size of their own cars.

Commercial Truck Brake Inspections 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the commercial trucking industry. As a part of this oversight, the agency requires all commercial trucks to meet or exceed a 43.5 percent braking efficiency threshold. Vehicles that fall below this standard are deemed unfit for service, as they lack the necessary stopping power. Brake efficiency is measured using a specialized machine that estimates a vehicle’s brake forces at wheel ends, axles, and on the entire vehicle itself. They can also gauge a truck’s braking capability through a stopping performance test. A failed test usually indicates an overloaded vehicle or axle, a mechanical problem, an air system malfunction, or degraded brake linings. These, however, are not the only kinds or problems that can cause brake failure in large trucks.

How Common is Brake Failure? 

Late last year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) released a report regarding incidents of brake failure on U.S. roads. According to the report, almost 13 percent of the 18,875 commercial vehicles examined had brake system violations and were taken out of service. Violations included:

  • Loose air tanks;
  • Corrosion in the spring brake housings;
  • Malfunctioning tractor protection valves;
  • Broken brake drums;
  • Cracked linings;
  • Worn or loose brake pads;
  • Loose chambers; and
  • Poor brake adjustments.

Of the 2,375 trucks that were taken out of service, around 12.4 percent had issues with the brakes on the steering axle of the vehicle and 47.5 percent weren’t working properly due to another defect.

The Dangers of Truck Brake Failure 

Brake failure on any type of vehicle is dangerous, but it poses an especially high risk when the vehicle in question is a commercial truck, as it can result in:

  • Reduced control of the vehicle, leading to swerving and weaving;
  • Increased stopping distance;
  • Rollovers, especially when traveling at high speeds or carrying heavy cargo;
  • Runaway trucks, with a truck continuing to gain speed; and
  • Jackknife accidents, which happen when a cab comes to a stop, but the trailer portion continues to move forward, swinging out to the side.

Unfortunately, these kinds of accidents tend to cause a lot of property damage and serious physical injuries. However, an injured party who can prove that his or her crash was the result of brake failure could be entitled to compensation for related losses.

Call Levinson Law, P.C. for Legal Help 

If you were in a truck accident and believe the crash was caused by brake failure, please call the experienced Tulsa truck accident lawyers at Levinson Law, P.C. as soon as possible. We can evaluate your case and walk you through your legal options.




Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
  • facebook

© 2020 - 2024 Levinson Law, P.C. All rights reserved.
This law firm website and legal marketing are managed by MileMark Media.