Brake failure is one of the most terrifying things a driver can face. It can lead to catastrophic accidents, resulting in severe injuries. The injured victim is often left covering the hefty medical bills and other damages. Fortunately, the personal injury law allows the affected party to pursue a claim to recover compensation.
The personal injury lawyers at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have extensive experience protecting the rights of the injured victims and recovering millions of dollars in compensatory damages for their clients. They can also help answer questions like What can you do to avoid truck driver DUI accidents?
Those who have suffered injuries in a brake failure accident in Toledo, Ohio, should reach out to the Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys to discuss their case and learn more about their legal options. They can also assist with what you can do to avoid head-on truck accidents.
Common Causes of Brake Failure Accidents in the United States
Brake failure can happen due to many reasons, some of which include the following:
Lack of Maintenance
Since it can be difficult to check the condition of a vehicle's brakes, potential problems can go unnoticed, which can increase the risk of a brake failure accident.
Brake pads and shoes undergo extreme wear and tear due to constant use, which can reduce the component's lifespan. Routine maintenance can help ensure that the brakes are in good condition. It can also identify potential issues and address them before they can lead to accidents.
Brake Fluid Leaks
When a driver pushes on the vehicle's brake, it causes the hydraulic fluid to enter the brake discs, applying pressure to the wheels. It is an integral part of the braking system and helps reduce the speed or bring the vehicle to a halt.
A brake leak refers to the seepage of the hydraulic fluid, which can adversely affect the pressure generated in the brake discs. This can lead to soft brakes, increasing the risk of collisions.
Damaged Rotor Discs
Extreme heat and cold can cause the rotor discs to deform, adversely impacting the braking power. Damaged rotor discs can eventually lead to brake failures.
Driving in Wet Conditions
Driving in mud or wet conditions can lubricate the brake discs and pads, creating a slippery situation for the driver to overcome. This can cause the vehicle to slip or lead to brake failure, increasing the risk of accidents.
What Are the Warning Signs of Brake Failure?
Identifying damage to the brakes is challenging without a proper inspection. However, there are some warning signs that drivers should be aware of, some of which include the following:
Screeching sounds when applying brakes
Illuminated brake light on the dashboard
The need to apply more pressure on the brake pedal
A distinct burning smell when using the brake
The car pulls to one side when braking
When a driver notices any of the above-mentioned warning signs, they must slow down and head over to the nearest mechanic for inspection.
Identifying the symptoms is a great way to avoid further wear and tear and take corrective measures to restore the braking system back to its original state.
What Can You Do to Avoid Brake Failure Accidents
The following are a couple of ways drivers can avoid brake failure accidents:
Every motor vehicle comes with a manual that contains maintenance information. It includes guidelines on when drivers must inspect the brakes and replace the pads and brake fluid.
Routine maintenance can keep the vehicle's brakes in top condition, reducing the risk of failure and accidents. It can also help identify potential problems, allowing the driver to take the necessary measures to rectify them.
Always Stay Alert
Most drivers often forget to follow the guidelines mentioned in their vehicle's manual. However, there are other ways to identify brake failure, including listening closely to the sounds during braking.
Drivers should always stay alert and listen for unusual sounds coming from the brakes. They should also pay attention to the brake feedback when pushing down on the pedal and the duration it takes to slow down the motor vehicle.
Ensure a Safe Following Distance
Maintaining a safe following distance may not prevent brake failure, but it can keep the driver safe. By ensuring enough gap between motor vehicles, drivers can have enough time to swerve or take action in case of brake failure. This defensive driving technique can prevent accidents from happening.
How to Respond to Brake Failure
A failing brake can be a terrifying moment for the driver, and there may be a lot of confusion surrounding them, prompting them to make bad decisions.
Here are a few ways drivers can respond to a brake failure and prevent an accident from happening:
Stay calm: Panicking when the brakes fail can increase the risk of bad decisions, which can be dangerous, especially on a highway. The driver must stay calm and keep their hands on the steering wheel.
Try the brakes again: Some motor vehicles come with a dual braking system that controls the front and rear brakes independently. It can allow the driver to regain some control by trying to brake again.
Use the engine brake: When the driver hits the brake pedal, and it doesn't bring the vehicle to a slowdown, they can use engine braking to reduce their car's speed. By shifting into a lower gear, the engine takes control and slows the automobile down, ensuring the safety of the driver and other road users.
Apply emergency brake: Also referred to as a parking brake, an emergency brake can help bring down the vehicle's speed when its brakes fail. It's important to note that using the parking brake at high speeds can cause the front or rear wheels to lock up, causing the automobile to slide.
Turn on the hazard lights: If a car's brake fails, the driver must warn other drivers by turning on their hazard lights. Honking the horn is another way to force the other road user to move out of the way to avoid a collision.
Check for objects under the brake pedals: Something may be stuck behind the brake pedal, preventing the driver from pushing it. Drivers can safely slide their foot under the pedal and kick the object out of the way before hitting the brakes again.
Get a tow: Sometimes, the brake might start working again. If that happens, the driver shouldn't continue driving but instead, they should pull over in a safe spot and call for a tow. A local mechanic can have the brakes inspected and fix the underlying issue.
Who Is Responsible for a Brake Failing Accident?
If the brake failing accident occurred due to defective brakes, the manufacturer or the local mechanic shop may be liable for the damages caused.
However, if the vehicle's brakes failed due to the driver's negligence (lack of maintenance), the driver may be responsible for the traumatic incident.
Pursuing legal action against the negligent party's insurance company can be challenging. It's crucial for the injured victims to reach out to reputable personal injury semi truck accident attorneys in Toledo to increase their chances of financial recovery.
Injured Victims Should Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for the Best Legal Representation in Ohio!
Those who have suffered injuries in a brake failure accident due to someone else's negligence in Toledo, Ohio, should call to schedule a free consultation with the experienced Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys. They can assess the facts surrounding the case and guide the affected party accordingly.