How Truckers Should Brake Properly
A big rig truck weighs up to 80,000. Trucks need to have fully operational brakes and a driver that knows how to use them to protect other motorists from collisions.
When trucking companies try to save money by skimping on regular militance or hiring inexperienced drivers who haven’t been trained in the proper breaking techniques, it can cause catastrophic accidents.
What Is Brake Fade?
When brakes get too hot, they don’t work properly. You may notice that when you overuse your brakes, you have to push down harder to slow down and stop the vehicle. This phenomenon is known as brake fade.
Brakes work by creating friction between the brake shoes and the brake drum. This creates a lot of heat. Brake drums are designed to function properly at temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When brakes get overused, the drum temperature can rise to over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. As overheated drums expand, brake shoes have to move farther to create the necessary friction to slow down the truck.
The following factors can all contribute to brake fade and brake failure:
- Stop-and-go traffic
- Downhill driving
- Aggressive driving
- Overloaded vehicles
- Low or contaminated brake fluid
- Worn brake pads
- Poorly adjusted brakes
How to Prevent Brake Fade
Trucking companies should only hire experienced drivers who have graduated from an accredited trucking school. It’s also important for trucking companies to train and monitor their employees to make sure they understand proper braking techniques.
Here are some ways truck drivers and the companies that employ them can make sure the brakes on their trucks remain in good working condition:
- Don’t ride the brakes. When it comes to brakes, heat is the enemy of performance. Truck drivers must learn the correct braking technique. The important thing is to brake and release repeatedly, allowing the truck to slow down gradually without overheating the drums.
- Rest brakes when going downhill. When a driver is traveling downhill for an extended distance, it may be necessary to pull over and rest their brakes, giving the drums a chance to cool down
- Downshifting. Truck drivers can help preserve their brakes by shifting into a lower gear to slow the truck down while traveling on a steep decline. It’s important to be in proper gear before you start going downhill.
- Regular maintenance. Brakes should be checked regularly by a reputable mechanic to keep everyone on the road safe from collisions.
Why You Need a Truck Accident Attorney
Trucking companies are notorious for cutting corners, even if it means endangering you and your family just to save a few pennies. If you are injured in an accident involving a big rig truck, the insurance company will do everything they can to prevent you from getting a fair settlement that covers the cost of your medical bills.
The experienced truck accident attorneys at The Husband & Wife Law Team aren’t intimidated by big insurance companies. We’ll aggressively investigate your accident, and we know how to uncover shady truck company behavior.
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