Truck drivers in Virginia are probably no stranger to random inspections. They should be aware, then, that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced a date for its annual brake inspection spree. Brake Safety Week will take place from September 15 to 21 and will encompass all of North America.
Every component will be checked, but inspectors will be focused primarily on brake hoses and tubes. These can incur damage, develop leaks and become inflexible. They may have even been improperly attached. These are problems that can affect braking performance, increase braking distance and raise the chances of a rear-end collision. The goal of Brake Safety Week, after all, is to prevent accidents caused by negligence.
Law enforcement agencies will be busy raising awareness of the role that brakes play in accident prevention. It is a message that drivers, owner-operators, truck fleet owners and even mechanics need to hear. During the CVSA's International Roadcheck back in 2018, more than 4,500 truckers were taken off the road for out-of-adjustment brakes or brake system violations. This made up 45% of all out-of-service orders.
Brake violations are involved in six of the top 20 vehicle violations reported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This information can be found in its 2018 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics.
When negligent truck maintenance is behind a motor vehicle accident, victims might opt to file a personal injury claim. In Virginia, though, any amount of contributory negligence will bar plaintiffs from recovering damages. To see if their case holds up to this strict standard, victims may want a lawyer to evaluate it. If they move forward with the case, they might have their lawyer negotiate on their behalf for a settlement and litigate if one cannot be agreed upon.