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Air brake failure is a factor in almost 30% of truck crashes

Many fatal and nonfatal North Dakota truck crashes share similar characteristics in common. So, recognizing common causes of modern-day truck crashes should help safety advocates and transportation officials work to reduce them. Research shows that one of the most common contributing factors to today’s truck crashes is air brake failure, which has a hand in almost a third of all commercial truck wrecks.

According to Transport Topics, air brake failure issues play a role in 29.4% of truck crashes. A truck’s air brake system works when it receives a steady stream of compressed air that keeps the brakes open. A commercial truck’s air brake system is prone to failure in two distinct ways.

System malfunctions and air brake failure

If anything inhibits the stream of compressed air from making its way into a truck’s brake system, it has the potential to lead to major problems. When the brakes do not receive a steady stream of air to keep them open, they apply themselves automatically and lock up.

Truck driver errors and air brake failure

Sometimes, it is a truck driver’s actions, and not some type of mechanical failure, that causes a truck wreck. When truckers rely too much on air brakes when traveling down steep hills, the brakes may get too hot and catch on fire. This may cause a trucker to lose control of the vehicle. It may also lead to other problems within the truck, itself.

Experienced truck drivers know that riding or overusing the brakes when traveling downhill has the potential to cause crashes. Many of the air brake failure issues caused by truck driver actions involve younger truckers with limited experience.