This week marks the start of the annual Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's (CVSA) Brake Safety Week. During this time, enforcement agencies throughout the country will conduct inspections focusing on brake systems of commercial trucks in an effort to reduce the risk of trucking accidents on the nation's roadways.
What are these inspections? The majority of the inspections conducted during this period are Level I inspections. According to the CVSA, this is the highest level inspection. It requires a review of both the driver and the vehicle. Inspection of the driver includes a check for drugs and alcohol as well as the driver's record of duty, hours of service and seat belt use. The vehicle portion of the inspection includes an examination of the truck's brakes, lighting devices and cargo security will also be inspected.
A piece in Overdrive notes that commercial motor vehicle brakes are generally designed to hold up under tough conditions. However, in order to perform properly regular inspections and maintenance is required.
What happens if a vehicle fails the inspection? A vehicle that is found defective or to have out-of-adjustment brakes will be placed out-of-service.
How effective are these inspection blitzes? In the past the CVSA has had success with this brake safety effort. In 2015, 2,321 of the 18,817 vehicles inspected were put out-of-service. That translates to just over 12 percent of the vehicles that were inspected.
What happens if a commercial vehicle is involved in an accident? Accidents involving commercial trucks can be catastrophic. This is due to simple physics. Commercial vehicles often weigh tens of thousands of pounds or more. The damage can be devastating when this extremely heavy vehicle collides with a much smaller passenger vehicle.
If the accident is the result of a failure of the vehicle's driver or the commercial company to properly maintain the braking system or otherwise follow required regulations, the offenders may be held liable through a civil suit. This suit can result in monetary awards to help victims cover the costs associated with the accident.
Those who are victims of these accidents are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced truck accident lawyer. This legal professional will review the details of your case and work to better ensure a more favorable outcome.