St. Louis Runaway Trailer Accident Attorney
Page Law Can Help After a Runaway Trailer Accident
A semi truck usually consists of two parts: the tractor, which pulls the whole outfit and contains the cab where the driver sits to control the vehicle, and the trailer, which is attached to the back of the cab and serves as cargo space. Other vehicles, such as trucks and vans, also occasionally pull smaller trailers. Trailers come in many different shapes, sizes, and configurations, but all trailers have one common feature: if they break away from the vehicle pulling them down the road, a serious accident can result.
A runaway trailer is most often caused by defective brakes, inadequate brakes, or a driver who doesn’t know how to handle the brakes on the trailer appropriately, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
On a large truck, the tractor and the trailer usually have separate brakes. The controls for the trailer’s brakes are attached to the tractor using coiled wire leads, which can often be seen between the two parts of the truck. If these leads are not properly attached or become broken or corroded at any point, the driver’s ability to control the trailer is decreased, which increases the risk of a runaway trailer accident. Regular maintenance is required to keep the trailer’s brakes and the connections to the cab in good condition, so that a driver can respond if a runaway trailer situation is brewing.
In addition to making sure brakes are in top condition, drivers must be properly trained to deal with runaway trailer situations, according to the FMCSA. These include knowing when a trailer is likely to slip or start to get away and what to do if it does. Downgrades are particularly risky for runaway trailer situations because the trailer, which usually weighs more than the cab, is pulled by gravity down the slope at a faster rate than the tractor. If the trailer’s brakes aren’t working properly or the driver isn’t paying attention, a serious accident can result.
A runaway trailer may also occur if the trailer isn’t loaded properly, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). Trailers with too much weight in the front or in the back, or that are hooked up so that one end is substantially higher than the other, will “wobble” from side to side on their way down the road. This wobble can result in the trailer breaking free, snagging a passing vehicle or obstacle, or causing other problems like trailer brake failure that can then lead to a runaway trailer accident. It is the responsibility of whoever loads the trailer to make sure it is loaded in a way that reduces wobbling and doesn’t overload the brakes.
Safety chains are provided on many trailers as a backup in case the main connection between the trailer and the vehicle pulling it is severed. To protect against a runaway trailer crash, however, safety chains must be in good condition, connected correctly, and must never be allowed to twist, kink, or drag. When safety chains aren’t used properly, they may snap, providing zero protection against a runaway trailer.
Legal Assistance On Your Side When You Need it Most
Our aggressive St. Louis runaway trailer tractor accident lawyers know how complicated a runaway trailer situation can become – and how hard it can be to sort out who was responsible for it when you’re also trying to recover from serious injuries. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping those who have been injured in runaway trailer crashes. Call our office today at 1-800-CAR-CRASH to learn more about how we can protect your legal rights and help you obtain the compensation that is due to you.