The Danger of Defective or Malfunctioning Parts on Commercial Trucks

several trucks rolling down highwayMany truck accidents are caused by the driver’s negligence. However, there are also a significant number of accidents caused by defective parts on a commercial truck, from fuel tanks to lighting.

Below, learn more about some of the most common defective truck parts that cause accidents.

If you were injured in a collision with a commercial truck and believe that a defective part may have been a cause, contact an experienced Sacramento truck accident lawyer from Arnold Law Firm for assistance. Your consultation with our reputable attorneys is completely free and comes with no obligation.

Brakes and Brake Systems

Brakes are one of the most important components of a commercial truck. Air brake systems create and maintain compressed air that transmits pressure to the brakes, which can help stop a truck quickly. If an emergency arises and a truck must brake suddenly, functioning brakes help prevent a collision.

Sometimes brakes are defective because of the way they were manufactured. In other situations, brake problems are the result of poor maintenance. Regular brake inspections help identify any problems with air brake systems, such as problems with brake hoses or brake lines. Drum brakes should be examined for cracks or overheating.

There are often warning signs if a brake system is compromised, such as screeching sounds, fluid on the ground, dash lights and vibrations. If these warning signs were ignored, the driver, his or her employer, or the entity that serviced the truck could be held liable for any resulting injuries.

Rear Underride Guards

Rear underride guards prevent passenger vehicles from sliding under the truck in case of a rear-end collision. If a truck’s guards do not meet the minimum standards, serious injuries or fatalities may occur if a passenger vehicle crashes into the back of a truck.

Fuel Tanks

Some commercial trucks have side-saddled fuel tanks, despite how dangerous it is to have a fuel tank in that position. If a fuel tank gets hit in a crash, a fire or explosion may occur. If you were burned in a truck crash because of a fuel tank explosion, your attorney may be able to determine the source of the fire and if the location of the fuel tank contributed to the accident.


Proper lighting is necessary for a commercial truck to see other motorists ahead of them. Commercial trucks are often driven long distances at night, so it is important that their lights are in good working order.

Reflective tape on commercial trucks is designed to allow other motorists to see the truck and trailer to avoid an accident. Some manufacturers may fail to place these strips of tape on the trucks, which can contribute to accidents. Alternatively, these strips of lighting may have a diminished reflection with exposure over time, causing trucks to become hidden dangers to motorists who are driving at night.


Another common cause of truck accidents is a tire blowout. Blowouts can occur when tires are worn down or are not properly inflated. Tires can wear more quickly when they are not properly maintained, making it more difficult for the driver to handle the vehicle.

Most of these problems can be effectively avoided by careful inspection of the tires’ air pressure, tread separation and tread depth. Tire inspections should also assess tires for cracks and cuts.

Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers are necessary to clear the driver’s windshield of rain and other vision obstructions. If wipers are not in proper working order, the truck driver may not see vehicles or other dangers in the roadway when traveling through heavy rain or other inclement weather.

Steering Mechanisms

A steering mechanism controls the direction the truck travels. Defects with the power steering pump, steering gear, ball joints, tie rods or hydraulic lines can make it difficult or impossible for the truck driver to control the vehicle. The driver may be unable to avoid hazards, potentially resulting in serious or fatal accidents.

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer for Assistance

Truck parts can malfunction due to a manufacturer’s negligence, inadequate inspection or other forms of negligence. If you were injured in a collision involving a commercial truck, it is important that you contact an experienced truck accident lawyer for assistance.

The Sacramento personal injury attorneys at Arnold Law Firm can conduct an investigation to determine negligence, possible defects and whether you may be entitled to compensation.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Call (916) 777-7777.