From September 16 to 22, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will have certified enforcement personnel standing by in New York and across the U.S. for its annual Brake Safety Week. These workers will stop large trucks and other commercial motor vehicles at random and inspect for both driver- and vehicle-related safety violations. The majority will be Level I inspections, the most comprehensive there are.
Mechanical fitness is a crucial part of the inspection. Inspectors will check rotors for defects, linings and pads for wear, air reservoirs for their integrity and air chamber sizes for a mismatch. They will make sure that drivers have the required brake-system warning device, that there are no loose or missing parts and that there are no air or hydraulic fluid leaks.
Defective or out-of-adjustment brakes will result in the vehicle being put out of service. 14 percent of vehicles during the 2017 Brake Safety Day were put out of service, so the CVSA hopes the percentage will be lower this year. Law enforcement agencies will be educating drivers and fleet owners on the importance of functional brakes for the success of Brake Safety Week.
Unfortunately, brake-related violations were the most common violation during the CVSA's International Roadcheck last year. Improperly maintained or installed brakes put other drivers at a higher risk for rear-end collisions because they increase stopping distance.
When accidents occur and the police report that bad brakes were involved, victims will want to get a copy of the police report and other evidence that can support their personal injury case. It can be hard to do so, however, without legal assistance. A lawyer is also good to have because he or she might be able to honestly assess the claim and factor in any comparative negligence. The lawyer may then negotiate on the victim's behalf for a settlement.