From September 16 to 22, commercial truck drivers in West Virginia and the rest of the U.S. will undergo random brake inspections. This is part of Brake Safety Week, an annual inspection spree held by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. While last year the spree was pared down to a single day, the CVSA has returned to the weeklong format as a way to better enforce brake safety guidelines.
Truckers should ensure routine inspections of their brakes and maintain them according to their manufacturer’s specifications. Failure to do so can lead to inefficient braking and, with it, a higher risk for collisions. The CVSA will mostly perform Level I inspections, which are the most comprehensive.
Inspectors will be checking for loose or missing parts; defects in the rotors; and excessive wear to the linings, pads, and drums; among other things. They could also check the size of the air chambers and the integrity of the air reservoirs. If there are air or hydraulic fluid leaks, these will be noted. Defective or out-of-adjustment brakes will automatically result in the truck being put out of service.
During last year’s inspection spree, 14 percent of trucks that were inspected were put out of service. Brake violations usually make up the majority of violations in another inspection spree, the CVSA’s International Roadcheck (which wrapped up in early June).
When defective truck parts contribute to a semitrucking accident, the negligent driver’s trucking company will be liable for any losses incurred by the victims. Victims can first have their case evaluated by a lawyer, and if any negligence on their part does not make the claim void, they can hire an attorney to build up the case. A lawyer’s own team of professionals could gather the police report and other evidence before proceeding to negotiations with the trucking company’s legal representatives.