Brake violations during week of inspections

West Virginia motorists who are concerned about highway safety may want to know about the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's Brake Safety Week that was held in mid-September around the country. More than 2,300 trucks received brake violations and were placed out of service while almost 2,700 trucks were removed from the road for violations not related to brake systems. According to a representative of the CVSA, Brake Safety Week was implemented to stress to motor carriers and drivers the importance of brake health and safety. The non-profit organization conducted a broader inspection in June. In that event, nearly half of the out-of-service orders related to faulty brakes.

A total of 18,057 inspections were conducted during the September event to pinpoint brakes that were not properly adjusted and other violations related to the brake system. Inspectors examined the trucks' brake systems to detect damaged or worn brake pads, linings, rotors or drums; missing or loose parts; leakage of hydraulic or air fluids and other components of the brake systems that were not up to standard. The indicator lamps that warn of anti-lock braking system malfunctions were also evaluated.

The number of ABS-required air-braked trucks that had ABS violations totaled 1,481, or 8.8 percent of the trucks inspected. For hydraulic-braked trucks that were required to have ABS, 1,436 or 8.8 percent of trucks were cited for ABS violations. It was also noted that 15.8 percent of the trailers that were inspected has ABS violations as well.

Accidents involving commercial trucks can result in significant injuries to occupants of other vehicles. If it can be determined that the accident was caused by faulty brakes, an attorney for an injured victim can review maintenance logs to see if the trucking company was negligent in its duty to keep them in proper repair. If so, the attorney could seek to hold the company financially responsible for the client's losses.

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