Every year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds a roadside brake inspection spree called Brake Safety Week. During this event, truckers in California and throughout the U.S. are pulled over at random and have every brake component checked. Those trucks that violate brake regulations are issued out-of-service orders.
To give some idea of how the event goes, 13.5% of those trucks that were inspected during the 2019 Brake Safety Week were issued OOS orders. In addition, the 2019 International Roadcheck, also held by the CVSA, saw 45.1% of its OOS violations involve brake systems and adjustment. The brakes are obviously a crucial part of truck safety, yet they are frequently being overlooked.
For the 2020 event, the CVSA will look particularly at the brake hoses and tubing. These must be properly attached, flexible, without damage and without leaks. A truck’s overall mechanical fitness depends on this.
Truckers are probably aware that fleets differ from one another when it comes to safety practices and the number of available resources. Truckers not formed in a safety-minded culture are more likely to neglect the brakes and other components. Every year, the Truckload Carriers Association holds a “Best Fleets to Drive For” contest so that participants can recognize those fleets that do have safe practices and other advantages.
Faulty brakes can lead to rear-end collisions and other serious truck accidents, and those in a passenger vehicle may suffer severe or even fatal injuries. Where the trucker is negligent, the victims may file a claim and be reimbursed for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the family may be covered for loss of support and funeral expenses. To start with their claim, plaintiffs may want to have a lawyer provide an evaluation.