Commercial truck drivers in West Virginia are likely familiar with Brake Safety Week, the annual inspection spree held by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. Across North America, enforcement officials stop CMVs at random to check for brake-related violations, putting any drivers who violate brake regulations out of service. For 2019, Brake Safety Week will take place from September 15 to 21.
Drivers must make sure they are performing regular truck maintenance, addressing issues like missing or loose parts, worn linings and pads, defective rotors and air leaks. They will especially want to check the brake hoses and tubing because these are the special focus of the 2019 Brake Safety Week. Hoses and tubing must be free of leaks and damage and should be properly attached as well as flexible to a certain point.
There are 14 jurisdictions that use performance-based brake testers to determine a truck's braking efficiency. Inspectors will be utilizing the tool to do so, but again, only in those 14 jurisdictions. Braking efficiency for a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating over 10,000 pounds should be at least 43.5%.
Drivers, fleet owners, mechanics and owner-operators should understand the importance of brake maintenance. Law enforcement officials will be raising awareness of this during Brake Safety Week.
Those who are injured in a crash with a big rig and who find out that bad brakes were responsible may want to see a lawyer. If they can show that the trucker had violated federal trucking regulations, then they may be reimbursed for economic and non-economic damages like medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering. Their lawyer may negotiate on their behalf for a settlement out of court, and if the trucking company refuses to pay out or only agrees to pay out a low amount, victims may litigate.