September 11th through 17th is Brake Safety Week. During this week, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will work within the trucking industry to improve knowledge, compliance and performance of brake maintenance.
Why the Focus on Brakes?
After years of experience litigating trucking accident cases, our attorneys have found the most prevalent truck accident to be rear end collisions. One of the causes of this type of crash, and many others, is poor or nonexistent brake maintenance. When a rear end collision occurs, we investigate the service history of the vehicle and the accident scene for evidence of poorly maintained brakes.
Importance of Safety Week
According to 2011 CVSA Roadcheck data, more than half of commercial motor vehicle out-of-service citations were for brake-related violations. Poorly adjusted air brakes will not allow a colossal semi truck to stop quickly enough or within a safe stopping distance. New regulations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are being implemented between August 2011 and August 2012 that require tractor-trailers traveling 60 miles per hour to be able to stop in 250 feet. In order to meet these standards, commercial truck brakes will need to be in peak condition at all times.
Why Aren’t Brakes Properly Maintained?
According to CVSA, a driver can easily adjust air brakes if they are equipped with manual slack adjusters. Drivers should also be able to check for other brake-related defects. CVSA believes some drivers are not properly educated in brake maintenance. Still other drivers who have been taught basic brake maintenance are either not encouraged by their company to be committed to safety or are personally choosing not to adjust brakes.
To combat the increasing growth of vehicles being put out of service for brake defects, Operation Air Brake has been implemented in the United States and Canada. The program is a reflection of an international dedication to brake inspection and safety. Both education and enforcement policies are in place to educate drivers on proper maintenance and to prevent poorly maintained and dangerous vehicles from remaining on the road.
It will take the continued and combined efforts of these organizations to lower the number of defective brakes on the road, thereby increasing safety.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a trucking accident that may have been caused by defective brakes, contact us today for a free consultation. We will discuss your accident and help you better understand your legal right to compensation. Click here for our case results.