Because trucks are much larger than traditional passenger cars, they have more momentum and brakes must work much harder to stop these vehicles. Large trucks have a longer stopping distance and typically require air brakes in order to effectively stop. Truck brakes need regular maintenance to ensure they are fully operational so a truck can stop, especially in event of an emergency.
Unfortunately, brake failure is common, despite maintenance and inspection requirements set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. According to the FMCSA Large Truck Causation Study, "brake problems were coded for almost 30 percent of trucks [involved in collisions] but only five percent of passenger vehicles." When a truck's brakes fail and a collision occurs as a result, it may be possible for victims to pursue a claim for damages. Truck accident lawyers in Columbus, OH can represent injury victims.
Brake Safety Week
To help reduce the risk of truck accident collisions caused by defective brakes, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has created a Brake Safety Week. Landline Magazine reports that the 2014 Brake Safety Week will run from September 7 through September 13.
During brake safety week, inspectors will be checking truck brake systems on both buses and trucks throughout the United States. All of the brakes that are checked during the campaign will undergo a Level IV inspection. Inspectors will be on the lookout for:
- Brakes with parts that are missing.
- Hydraulic or air fluid leaks.
- Brakes with worn linings.
- Worn brake pads.
- Worn drums.
- Worn motors.
- Other faulty components of a brake system.
The antilock braking system indicator lights will also be checked to ensure that the lights are working. If it is necessary to do so, measurements of the pushrod stroke will also be taken as a part of the inspection.
While these general inspections will occur nationwide, there will also be additional advanced testing in 10 undisclosed jurisdictions over the course of the week. Within these 10 locations, overall brake efficiency will be tested using performance-based brake testing equipment. In some cases, Level I inspections will also be performed.
If any trucks are found to have defective brakes or brakes that are out-of-adjustment, the truck will be placed out of service. This is true both of trucks undergoing basic Level IV inspections as well as trucks undergoing a more comprehensive evaluation.
This brake check is not the first to occur over the course of 2014. In May, a spring brake check occurred. As a result of that event, 9.5 percent of trucks were taken out of service because the brakes were out of adjustment and 8.5 percent of trucks were taken out of service for violations of brake component safety requirements. A total of 15.2 percent were taken out of service for some type of brake violation.
Safety efforts like Brake Week can make a big difference in getting dangerous trucks off the road and can help to save lives by preventing collisions from occurring.
Contact our Columbus, OH accident lawyers today. Call 1-800-930-SCOTT or visit http://www.sestriallaw.com for a free case consultation.