Improper Braking Technique

Georgia Truck Accident Center

Atlanta truck accident attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert helps victims injured in trucking collisions caused by a variety of acts and omissions, including improper braking technique. For over 20 years, we have worked with medical and forensic experts to identify all sources of negligence and compensation, and maximize your available relief under the law. We will fight to protect your rights, and diligently pursue all parties responsible for your loss.

Deceleration and Braking Technique

The Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) manual governs recommended braking techniques for drivers operating trucks and other commercial vehicles. When first published, the manual advocated light and steady break application when descending steep grades. Persuasive research by the University of Michigan now suggests that “snub” braking, which requires harder brake application, is preferable for the purpose of decelerating and stopping. Snub braking is characterized by:

  • Choosing the correct gear
  • Allowing truck to accelerate
  • Reaching maximum safe speed
  • Braking to slow truck down 5 mph
  • Repeating process as truck descends hill
  • Distributing energy among all working brakes
  • Maintaining pneumatic balance at all wheel ends

Because overheating inflicts the most damage to brakes, the old theory of light and steady braking was intended to reduce the amount of heat energy required to slow down trucks. But the manner of braking does not affect the amount of heat produced. In fact, even distribution among the entire braking system produces cooler brakes. Snub braking also eliminates the dangerous imbalance of pressure between relay valves in the tractor drive axles and trailer axles.

Driver and Owner Negligence

Most truck accidents are caused by driver negligence. A 40 ton truck hauling 3,000 pounds of trailer weight is difficult to stop at the last minute. Improper braking generally occurs when the driver violates a basic legal duty to exercise reasonable care. Negligent braking may involve:

  • Inexperience
  • Drunk driving
  • Talking, texting
  • Speed violations
  • Insufficient buffer
  • Fatigue, distraction
  • Tire balding, blowout
  • Hours-of-service rules
  • Failure to inspect brakes

Trucking and hauling companies also have a duty to maintain safe brakes. Even if drivers exercise proper technique, this cannot compensate for unevenly-adjusted brakes. Owners and operators can neglect their duty to perform repairs required fix imbalances that result in loss of control. Failure to repair fading brakes on trucks in service can give rise to personal injury liability and Atlanta improper truck braking attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert has the experience in fighting for full compensation in these types of cases.

Commercial Carrier Liability

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act and similar state laws govern liability in the trucking industry. These laws impose liability on parties other than drivers when negligent braking technique causes an accident resulting in injury. Liable parties may include:

  • Employers
  • Manufacturers
  • Leasing companies
  • Owners, operators
  • Municipal agencies
  • Insurance companies

Whether improper braking was solely the fault of the driver or resulted from defective brakes, multiple parties and insurers may be held responsible. They may have to compensate injured victims for bodily injury or wrongful death arising from a crash, including damages for:

  • Medical costs
  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost work income
  • Future lost earnings
  • Loss of family service
  • Future disability benefits
  • Mental pain and suffering

In product liability cases, courts may also award punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs. Because recovery of damages requires extensive negotiation with multiple parties and a deep understanding of federal and state law, experienced representation by an Atlanta improper truck braking attorney is critical.

Experienced Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a truck accident caused by improper braking technique or another form of negligence, contact Atlanta personal injury lawyer Stephen M. Ozcomert today. For over 20 years, our firm has succeeded in recovering substantial verdicts and settlements for truck accident victims injured by the carelessness of others. Recognized as a member of Georgia’s “Legal Elite,” Mr. Ozcomert remains dedicated to defending your interests and fighting for the compensation you deserve. Call (404) 370-1000 to consult Georgia’s “Super Lawyer” or contact us online.

Testimonials
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Steve and Anne walked me through the whole process from start to finish. When I called with questions, I promptly got responses. I would highly recommend Steve to anyone in need of an attorney.
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Thanks for everything...Steve you're the BEST!!! Keep up the great work! I recommend Mr. Ozcomert and partners to anyone who is looking to WIN. ETERNALLY GRATEFUL. Bernard
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I have really enjoyed the way that Steve and his one person staff Anne handled my case. They turned a bad situation into a very favorable outcome. They went the extra mile. I can highly recommend Steve to anyone that is in need of an attorney. Glenn