Trucking companies have an obligation to public safety to ensure that their vehicles are properly maintained and do not present a significant safety hazard to other motorists on the road. When an 18-wheeler is in an accident, it is especially dangerous due to the vehicle’s sheer size.
As part of its “Brake Safety Week” last month, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) inspected thousands of trucks across the United States and Canada. Brake Safety Week is a yearly campaign that enforces trucking regulations while also serving to raise awareness of the dangers of defective brakes.
It’s imperative for a commercial truck’s brakes to be in good condition because they have more momentum than smaller vehicles, making it more difficult for them to come to a complete stop. Neglected brakes can increase the chances a truck driver will be in an accident.
This year, the CVSA inspected thousands of trucks, and found a staggering amount of them had violations that were severe enough to put the vehicle out of service (OOS). The CVSA reports that as many as one in seven, or 15.3 percent, of trucks it inspected as part of Brake Safety Week had such violations.
For this year’s Brake Safety Week, the CVSA inspected 21,255 trucks. Of these, 1,993 were put out of service for simple brake adjustments and 1,664 were removed from service for bad brake components. These figures have all increased from last year’s inspections, which were higher than the previous year’s as well.
These inspections are critical for keeping trucking companies from neglecting their duty to maintain their vehicles. The program has inspected more than 2.6 million brake systems since it began 15 years ago.