Unsafe Truck Brakes Cause Accidents

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A leading truck safety organization recently conducted an educational event on unsafe truck brakes.  And with good reason, as defective brakes are a leading cause of catastrophic trucking accidents.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance – a nonprofit group of safety groups and law enforcement agencies – conducted its first-ever Brake Safety Symposium in mid-May.  According to the CVSA, the goals included educating truck drivers, truck mechanics, and fleet safety directors on proactive brake maintenance, and to ultimately reduce truck accidents caused by unsafe brakes.

Who is Responsible for Maintaining Truck Brake Systems?

The audience of the CVSA event incorporated those who are responsible for ensuring the safety of commercial truck brakes.  Truckers should heed signs that their brakes are going bad.  They are the first and most direct line of detection, as over-the-road truck drivers operate their rigs nearly every day.

When truck mechanics are called on to inspect or fix a truck’s brakes, they should do so thoroughly and correctly.  And their employers – fleet owners, for example – are responsible for proactive upkeep of their trucks’ brakes and ensuring that when repairs are done, they are done right.

Each year the CVSA also holds Brake Safety Day.  Inspectors across the country conduct roadside inspections of commercial trucks, with a specific focus on their braking systems.  The 2018 event will be conducted later this year. But a  recap of last year’s results paints a real-life picture of the dangers posed by bad truck brakes.

In 2017, the CVSA conducted 7,600 truck inspections.  More than one out of 10 commercial trucks (14 percent) were found to have brakes so dangerous they were given out-of-service violations.  Those trucks were pulled off the road and were not able to continue until their brakes were fixed.  Dangerous truck brakes were the reason for about half of all such out-of-service violations inspectors handed out to truckers that day.

Unsafe Truck Brakes Lead to Trucking Accidents

In 2006 the federal government released the findings its research into why commercial truck accidents happen.  It remains the most thorough look into catastrophic trucking accidents today.  According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, bad brakes were a factor in 29 percent of all commercial truck accidents.  Outside of driver error, brake problems were the leading cause of truck accidents.

Incidentally, the same research found that about 55 percent of all commercial trucks that crashed had at least one mechanical violation – brakes or some other area.

Poorly maintained trucks are a danger to other drivers.  Properly monitored and repaired braking systems clearly should be a top priority for truck drivers and trucking companies.

If you lost a loved one in a crash with a large commercial truck, an attorney who represents truck accident victims can conduct a thorough investigation to identify the causes and responsible parties.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

Authored by Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C., posted in Blog June 8, 2018