Commercial motor vehicle drivers in California will want to prepare themselves for the annual Brake Safety Week held by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. In fact, all drivers should keep their brakes in good working order; improperly installed or poorly maintained brakes will increase stopping distance and raise the risk for accidents, especially rear-end collisions. The CVSA has scheduled its event for September 16 to 22.
During last year's Brake Inspection Day, 14 percent of the inspections that were conducted ended in vehicles being put out of service for brake-related violations. This year, the percentage of out-of-service orders may go up since personnel will be conducting mostly Level I inspections. These 37-step procedures check for driver compliance in addition to vehicle safety.
The components that will be checked include the air reservoir, air chamber, rotors and pushrod. Inspectors will note any air or hydraulic fluid leaks, defective rotors, worn-out linings and pads and loose or missing parts. Vehicles must also have the required brake-system warning device. Braking efficiency will be tested in jurisdictions that use performance-based brake testing equipment.
In a recent study, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that nearly a third of large trucks with pre-crash violations have brake problems. Large trucks in brake-critical crashes were 50 percent more likely to have brake problems than trucks in non-brake-related crashes.
Under truck accident law, those who are injured through a truck driver's negligence can be eligible for compensation. Failing to maintain the brakes is a form of neglect, but it will most likely take a lawyer and a team of mechanical professionals to bring together all the evidence. Victims can hire a lawyer for this and leave all the negotiations to their lawyer, too. If the trucking company doesn't settle out of court, the lawyer and victim could proceed to litigation.