West Virginians can face a major safety threat on the roadways from trucks with poorly or negligently maintained brake systems. The size, mass and weight of commercial trucks mean that when these vehicles have brakes that don’t function properly, the consequences for truck drivers and all others on the road can be severe. Failing truck brakes can be the cause of severe motor vehicle accidents that lead to injuries and even fatalities. Because of the severe risk posed by this problem, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) organizes an annual Brake Safety Week to highlight the risk of truck brake violations.
During the week, which will take place in September 2018, truck inspectors will escalate inspections of commercial trucks operating on the roadways. These comprehensive Level I inspections will pay particular attention to issues involving negligently maintained truck brakes. For example, inspectors will be on the lookout for worn parts like pads, drums and rotors, missing or loose brake pieces, damaged air containers and reservoirs, mismatched air reservoirs, leaks of hydraulic fluid or air, defective or damaged rotors, missing brake-system warning devices and other hazardous components.
While the danger of negligently maintained truck brakes can be great, these kinds of violations are some of the most commonly found by inspectors. The CVSA returned to a Brake Safety Week after a one-day event in 2017; during that event, a full 14 percent of all trucks inspected were removed from the roadways due to their brake system maintenance violations.
For people on the roadways, truck crashes can lead to life-changing injuries and disabilities. The pain can be compounded when accident victims learn that their injuries were caused by a failure to properly maintain truck brakes or other equipment. A personal injury lawyer might help victims pursue compensation for their damages suffered as a result.