Driver error behind the wheel may be to blame for a high percentage of car accidents, but not all of them. Even the best drivers can be caught out by a mechanical problem, and faulty brakes are one of the most common issues that lead to collisions.
When brakes fail, it can be extremely difficult (or impossible) to avoid an accident happening. Brake failure often leads to devastating crashes. Taking steps to avoid braking failure can save the lives of multiple drivers and stop complicated legal cases from happening. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also help with questions such as What can you do to avoid Head-On Truck Accidents in Indiana?
What Is a Brake Failure Accident?
Put simply, any collision that occurs because a vehicle's brakes fail is known as a brake failure accident. They can occur between multiple vehicles or involve a single vehicle that crashes into a stationary object.
What Causes Brake Failure Accidents?
There are many reasons for brake failure. Some are the fault of the drivers. Others come down to the manufacturer. In some cases, it is an extenuating circumstance that causes drivers to lose control of their brakes.
Here are some of the most common causes of brake failure in car accidents.
Worn or old brake pads
A jammed brake pedal
Damage to the rotor discs
Too much weight in the vehicle
Lack of care
Leaking hydraulic fuel
Excessive mud or water contact
How to Avoid Brake Failure Accidents
What can you do to avoid brake failure accidents in Indiana? Here are some tips to help people stay safe and reduce the risk of crashes.
Drive at a Safe Speed and Distance
If brakes fail, drivers are at the mercy of fate- but fate is more likely to sway in their favor if they are driving safely to begin with. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the more difficult it will be to come to a safe stop without breaks.
Driving at a safe distance between vehicles can also help avoid- or at least reduce- impact if brakes don't work as they should.
Many rear-end collisions happen because the rear driver experiences brake failure. Sometimes, an aggressive driver will brake check a car they feel is too close to them, which can easily result in a rear-end accident.
Brake checking is when someone purposely comes to a sudden stop for no reason. It is a form of road rage from aggressive drivers and is an illegal action in Indiana. That said, a rear-end collision can still cause injuries and property damage if the brake checking reveals the brakes to be faulty.
Don't Overload the Vehicle
Too much weight can put added strain on a vehicle and stop the brakes from working properly. Most vehicles come with a weight capacity warning in the driver's manual- it is a good idea to take it seriously.
Anyone loading up their car with a lot of weight should be careful not to exceed the limit. If they do and their brakes fail, they could cause an accident with tragic consequences- and they would be held liable.
Pay Attention to Warning Signs
There are a few tell-tale signals that suggest a potential brake problem could be imminent. It is tempting to ignore these, but doing so could end up as a huge regret.
Some of the signs that brakes need checking include:
The steering wheel vibrates when the brake pedal is pressed
Grinding noises or a burning smell when braking
A loose, spongy-feeling brake pedal
Brake fluid leaking
Pulling to the side when braking
The brake light comes on
Having the brake checked as soon as possible is vital for any vehicle owner or driver who notices any of these signs.
Arrange Regular Maintenance
It is important to maintain brakes throughout the year- not only when something seems wrong. Having a mechanic check things regularly to spot any issues could be the difference between life and death.
People who skip mechanical check-ups are putting themselves, their family members, and other drivers at risk.
Listen to Instincts
If someone is driving and feels like something is not right, it is best to pull over at the first safe opportunity and seek assistance. Brakes can begin failing before they completely stop working, and it is better to stop while it is still an option and the driver still has some control.
When someone suspects a problem with their brakes, they should get into the slowest lane, drive at the slowest safe speed (using hazard lights if necessary), and find a safe place to come to a standstill. Ignoring instinct and hoping for the best is not a safe or sensible driving choice.
Who Is Liable in a Car Accident Caused by Failed Brakes?
Liability in brake failure accidents usually lies with the vehicle's owner, the driver, or the manufacturers. In most cases, the person who owns the car is responsible.
It is the duty of every vehicle owner to properly maintain and assess their car for signs of mechanical errors and to keep other drivers safe. Most (not all) brake failures could be avoided if preventative measures were taken.
The exceptions to this rule come when the brakes are faulty due to a negligent manufacturer or design flaw. Owners may also be able to hold a mechanic accountable if they performed maintenance work that was improperly finished.
Because Indiana is an at-fault state, a driver who causes an accident is liable to pay for the damages against another party, including medical expenses and property damage, even if their brakes failed. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys also has more information on what you can do to avoid spilled cargo accidents in Indiana.
Schuerger Shunnarah Go to War for Indy Car Accident Victims
An experienced and dedicated semi accident attorneys in Indianapolis at Schuerger Shunnarah can fight for anyone injured in a car accident caused by brake failure.
Contact the team today to arrange a free consultation and case review. Brake failure claims can be complicated, but Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are here to help every step of the way.