Commercial vehicle drivers in Missouri and around the country can expect more scrutiny from law enforcement and safety officials during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Brake Safety Week, which begins on Sept. 16. Faulty braking systems on tractor-trailers weighing as much as 40 tons are a threat to all road users, and data from both the CVSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration suggest that the problem is widespread.
The FMCSA looked at the violation histories of commercial trucks involved in almost 1,000 accidents, and they discovered that almost a third of them had been cited for brake-related issues. Braking problems are also the most common reason for trucks being ordered off the road during the CVSA’s annual International Roadcheck safety effort. When Brake Safety Week was shortened to a single day in 2017, vehicle inspectors issued out of service orders for brake problems 14 percent of the time.
Most of the inspections conducted during Brake Safety Week will be the rigorous North American Level I type. During the 37-step process, inspectors will look for loose, worn or missing braking components, gauge the effectiveness of brake warning systems and check brake fluid and air lines for leaks and damage. Commercial vehicles considered a danger to other road users will be ordered out of service according to the CVSA.
Experienced personal injury attorneys seeking compensation for commercial vehicle accident victims may also call for tractor-trailers to be inspected for defective parts and signs of poor maintenance. Attorneys could also check the violations handed out during road safety initiatives like Brake Safety Week for evidence that could be used to establish a history of reckless behavior. Commercial vehicle owners are expected to take all reasonable precautions to protect other road users, and they could be held financially responsible if an accident injures other road users.