Here in Kentucky and across the country, trucking safety violations pose a huge risk to others on the road. If a truck driver or company fails to maintain their fleet properly, a driver may be unable to stop their vehicle in the event of an emergency or bad weather conditions. And the consequences of being involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer can be devastating, considering the size of the truck compared to the size of a passenger vehicle or motorcycle.
This is one of the reasons the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will conduct its annual Brake Safety Week this year between September 16 and September 22. In 2017, the CVSA reduced their event to a one-day initiative, but because during that one-day inspection period, 14% of trucks inspected were required to be taken out of service due to brake maintenance issues, they returned the safety inspections to the original weeklong timeframe. The roadside truck inspections will also be ramped up—they will be comprehensive Level I inspections, but with a particular focus on brakes and their components.
The brake inspectors are instructed to pay close attention to the following:
- Loose or missing brake parts
- Defective rotors
- Air or hydraulic fluid leaks
- Missing warning devices
- Worn-out brake linings, pads, rotors, and drums
- Damaged or mismatched air chambers and reservoirs
If a truck is found to have improperly maintained brakes, it will removed from the road until it's adequately repaired.
What does the data say?
The data and research from CVSA tell a clear story:
- According to the U.S. DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 32.7% of large trucks with pre-crash violations had brake issues.
- During last year's International Roadcheck, brake-related violations represented the largest percentage of out-of-service vehicle infractions.
- Large trucks involved in a truck accident where the braking capacity of the truck was critical were 50 percent more likely to have a brake violation than trucks that were involved in crashes where the vehicle's braking capacity was not critical.
- About 45% of trucks involved in brake-critical crashes had brake violations, in comparison with nearly 30% of trucks involved in similar crashes where braking capacity was not critical.
The goal of Brake Safety Week is to reduce the number of crashes caused by badly-maintained braking systems on commercial trucks and vehicles, by conducting roadside “fitness” inspections and removing dangerous trucks from our roads and highways.
Tractor-trailer and 18-wheeler accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and disabilities. If you were injured in a crash caused by an improperly maintained truck, the Kentucky truck accident lawyers at Crandall & Pera Law can help. Our legal team will help you pursue compensation for your injuries and hold the guilty parties responsible. Call us today at 877-686-8879. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule a no-obligation consultation.