Brake Safety Week coming to Illinois in September

This fall, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will hold Brake Safety Week in Illinois and across North America. During the initiative, which takes place Sept. 16-22, CVSA inspectors will check commercial vehicles for critical brake violations. Vehicles that fail inspections will be pulled from service.

According to the CVSA, poorly maintained or improperly installed brake components pose a serious public safety risk. In order to ensure brake systems are in good working condition, commercial vehicles must be routinely inspected. However, statistics show that trucking companies aren't always doing this. For example, a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that 32.7 percent of large trucks that had pre-crash violations had problems with their brake systems. The study also discovered that vehicles involved in brake-critical crashes were 50 percent more likely to have a brake violation than those that were involved in collisions where brakes were not a factor. Finally, brake violations were the No. 1 reason vehicles were pulled from service during the CVSA's 2017 International Roadcheck.

During the Brake Safety Week initiative, CVSA enforcement personnel will perform 37-step North American Standard Level I inspections on selected commercial vehicles. These detailed inspections include a complete examination of a vehicle's brake system, including its hydraulics, rotors, linings, pads and drums. Inspectors will also look for mismatched air chamber sizes across axles and check air reservoir mounting and integrity.

Truck drivers and trucking companies are required to follow federal safety regulations for operating commercial vehicles. Drivers and companies that fail to follow these regulations leave themselves open to legal action in the event of a truck accident. For example, an individual injured in a truck crash could retain a personal injury lawyer and sue for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

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