What Happens When Truck Brakes Fail in Eastern Iowa?

Truck accidents in Eastern Iowa can occur for many reasons, including failure to maintain brakes, improperly loaded cargo, uneven loads, lights out, hazardous tires and simply having an unsafe truck. It's frightening to know how many trucks operate on Iowa roads with unsafe rigs and equipment hazards.

Because semi trucks weigh around 80,000 pounds, trying to slow them down or bring them to a stop can put a great amount of wear and tear on the brakes. Most truck brakes are drum brakes, and when they start fading, it can mean serious trouble. This is why one of the biggest causes of truck accidents in Eastern Iowa and throughout the U.S. is truck brakes going out.

Many trucks lose their brakes while going down a steep hill. When this happens, they end up gaining dangerous speed and plowing into vehicles at the bottom of the hill that may be going slower or waiting at the signal light. This can cause a serious Eastern Iowa truck accident and injuries.

What can a truck driver do when faced with the failure of brakes at the wheel?

  • Slow down before starting down the grade
  • Gear down
  • Use the "jake" brake (engine brake)
  • Use the parking brake
  • Use common sense
  • Use the truck escape ramps, if needed

If the other options don't work, a truck driver may need to stop their vehicle by pulling onto a runaway truck ramp. These ramps are typically located on the right-hand side of the roadway in certain locations.
Mountainous regions have more of these ramps, but other areas also have them depending upon the state's runaway truck accident rates, length and percent of grade, road conditions and average daily traffic.

Runaway truck ramps help stop a truck that has lost its brakes by providing an escape for the truck with an incline ramp filled with gravel or sand that causes friction to slow down the truck. However, because these truck escape ramps are not found everywhere around Iowa, trucks may end up colliding into other semi trucks or other vehicles.

When a truck's brakes fail and cause a Cedar Rapids truck crash, you and your family may be entitled to financial compensation for instances of pain and suffering, medical expenses, surgery, physical therapy, lost wages and more. Call a trusted and experienced Cedar Rapids personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Brady Preston Gronlund today for a free legal consultation at (319) 866-9277 and find out more about your rights.