Commercial trucks are large, heavy vehicles that involve a variety of complex systems, and the failure of equipment on a truck can lead to a dangerous truck accident. In some cases, collisions may occur because a trailer becomes decoupled from the cab of a truck during transit. A decoupled trailer will create a massive obstacle in the road, and other vehicles may be unable to avoid a collision. In these cases, victims will need to understand why a trailer may have become decoupled. They can work with an attorney to pursue financial compensation from the parties responsible for their injuries.
Reasons for Trailer Decoupling
“Fifth wheel” trailer coupling systems must meet certain safety requirements to ensure that a trailer can be towed correctly while minimizing the risk that the trailer will decouple unexpectedly. In addition to ensuring that a trailer’s tow bar will remain safely connected to the fifth wheel, fail-safe systems such as chains or cables must be used to prevent the trailer from breaking loose if the tow bar becomes disconnected.
In some cases, trailers may become decoupled due to mechanical failures. If a fifth wheel or other coupling equipment was designed defectively, parts may break, or a coupling may fail. Mechanical failures can also occur if a truck’s systems had not been properly maintained. Coupling pins, safety chains, or other parts may wear down, and if they are not replaced when necessary, this may lead a trailer to become decoupled while a truck is moving.
Decouplings can also occur if a driver did not take the proper measures to ensure that a trailer was coupled properly. Drivers should always visually inspect a coupling to verify that the locking mechanism has engaged correctly. They must also ensure that airlines are properly connected to the trailer, which will allow air brakes to apply the proper force to the trailer during transit. Drivers should also perform a “tug” or “pull” test by moving the truck’s cab forward slowly to ensure that it will pull the trailer correctly. If the proper inspections and testing are not performed, a driver may not be aware of a false coupling that may result in the trailer becoming uncoupled during transit.
Contact Our Green Bay Truck Accident Lawyers
Decoupled trailers can be very dangerous, and drivers or passengers who are injured in these types of incidents will want to determine who was responsible. At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., our lawyers can perform an investigation following a truck accident to identify all liable parties, including a negligent truck driver who did not properly inspect a trailer coupling, a trucking company that did not ensure that equipment was properly maintained, or the manufacturer of defective trailer coupling equipment. Contact our Appleton truck accident attorneys by calling 920-739-7366 and arranging a free consultation.