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How Common is Brake Failure?


As a driver, it's natural to be concerned about the possibility of brake failure while on the road. Yet, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's 2018 report, such failures are rare. In fact, only 2% of all crashes were accounted for by faulty vehicle parts, and out of that small percentage, 22% were due to faulty brakes.

While the possibility of brake failure is rare, it’s important to be knowledgeable about your car brakes. In this article, we’ll dive into the signs of brake failure, why it occurs, and who is responsible in this case of an accident.

5 Signs of Brake Problems

Being able to recognize the signs that your brakes need inspection can save you time and money in the long run. Most importantly, proper brake care will keep you safer on the road.

Signs you are having brake problems include:

  • Brake light: When your brake light turns on, this is an indicator that it is time for maintenance.
  • Grinding sounds: This can be an indicator that your brake pad may be having issues. Be sure to get them serviced as soon as possible.
  • Squeaking or squealing sounds: Another type of sound to be aware of is squeaking or squealing. Unlike grinding, this could indicate that a foreign object is lodged in your brakes. If there’s nothing there, this is still a sign to have your brakes checked.
  • Car veering to the side: If your car veers to one side when you brake, this could mean that one brake is working and the other is not.
  • Wobbling or vibrating: If your steering wheel or car vibrates when you brake, this could mean that the rotor of your brakes is worn down unevenly. Be sure to have this repaired as over time, this could become worse.

What Causes Brake Failure?

Brakes are an essential part of any vehicle, and their failure can be a terrifying experience. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why brakes can fail.

Reasons why brakes fail:

  • Neglect: Failure to check your brakes and have them replaced as needed is a factor in brake failure. On average, brakes can last between 20,000 to 70,000 miles. However, this can fluctuate depending on your driving patterns.
  • Brake fluid leaks: When there is a brake fluid leak, this is an issue. Brake fluid is the liquid transferred to the brake discs when you push on your brakes to stop your car.
  • Driving through mud: When you drive through mud, this can lubricate your brake discs and pads. This can cause them to not function as well.
  • Overheating: When brakes are overheated, this can decrease their lifespan and ultimately increase the time it takes to stop the car.
  • Manufacturer: Whether if it is from poor design or errors in the manufacturing process, sometimes brake failure can occur due to manufacturing negligence.

It's essential to keep your brakes well-maintained and to remain alert for any signs of trouble. If you believe your brakes are having any sort of issue, be sure to have it examined by a professional as soon as possible.

Brake Failure Accidents: Who Is Responsible?

If you ever find yourself in an accident that was caused by another driver's brakes failing, the responsibility of who is at fault ultimately depends on a few factors.

Brake failure accident responsibility:

  • Negligent driver: If the driver with the faulty brakes was driving recklessly or was aware of the issue beforehand and neglected to have their brakes repaired, then they would most likely be held liable.
  • Manufacturer: If the brakes spontaneously malfunctioned without prior warning, then the vehicle manufacturer brakes could be held responsible. For example, if the manufacturer was aware of the brake problem and failed to issue warnings or recalls, they could be liable.

After a car accident, it’s important to get medical care and then consult with an attorney to fully understand your legal options. An experienced car accident attorney can determine what compensation you are entitled to and help you seek justice for any damage or injuries sustained in the accident.

Contact Us for Help

If you've experienced an accident caused by faulty brakes or another form of negligence, don't hesitate to contact the car accident attorneys at Bridges, Jillisky, Weller & Gullifer, LLC. Our team of experienced and determined attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case to help you pursue the compensation you deserve so that you can move forward.

Don't face the aftermath of an accident yourself - let us fight for you. Call (937) 403-9033 or fill out our form online to get in touch with us.