There are a number of factors that could contribute to a wintertime accident. Of course, there are the dangers of slick roads and poor visibility caused by falling snow and sleet. Yet a very serious hazard is actually caused by a safety measure that is intended to battle icy roads. The effect of this threat may not become apparent until well after the weather has improved.
Several years ago, some states began using a magnesium chloride and calcium road de-icer. This was a departure from the old reliable sodium chloride road salt. Years of experience yielded processes to effectively clean road salt, which would help prevent its corrosive effects. Unfortunately, it is basically impossible to wash off this new form of de-icer.
Moreover, the de-icer is hygroscopic, meaning that it can attract moisture from airborne vapor. The de-icing solution has demonstrated the insidious ability to work its way into the wiring and other workings of a truck’s brakes. The de-icer then begins to corrode these parts, which could eventually cause the brakes to fail.
Truck drivers can take measures by purchasing parts for the rigs that are less susceptible to the corrosive effects and having regular mechanical inspections. However, the trailers that drivers haul may not be so well maintained. Trailers can sit for long periods of time before being used, and a great deal of corrosion could occur during this time with no one being aware.
Regardless of the challenges, truck drivers and trucking companies have a duty of care to make sure that all trucks and trailers have brakes that function. If you are ever involved in a truck accident that you suspect was caused by the truck having brake or other mechanical issues, a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney could look into the matter and help you prove liability.