Brake Check: How Many Commercial Trucks Failed a Recent Safety Inspection?
The size and weight of commercial trucks significantly increase risks on the road. These large, heavy vehicles need more time and distance to stop than smaller ones. If a truck's brakes fail, it can lead to a serious truck accident, with injuries and damages far exceeding those from lighter vehicles. To help mitigate this danger, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) conducted Brake Safety Week from August 20-26.
Inspectors in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. conducted inspections on 18,875 commercial trucks. This initiative focused on inspecting and enforcing compliance with commercial truck brake systems and components. It puts commercial trucks out of service for critical vehicle inspection item violations as per CVSA North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria.
How many commercial trucks were taken off the road during Brake Safety Week?
Inspectors submitted brake-related data to the CVSA. About 87% of vehicles did not have any brake-related out-of-service violations. Of the inspected vehicles, 2,375 (about 13%) were removed from roadways due to brake-related out-of-service violations. Examples of such violations include broken brake drums, loose air tanks, inoperative tractor protection valves, etc.
Here are the specific brake violation details:
- Steering axle brake violations: 295 vehicles (12.4%).
- Stand-alone brake violations: 1,127 vehicles (47.5%).
- 20% defective brakes criterion failure: 1,394 vehicles (58.7%)
Lining and pad violations
The focus of this year's Brake Safety Week was on lining and pad violations. Inspectors checked for cracks, voids, contamination, and wear in brake lining and pads. A total of 379 power units and 261 towed units had such violations. Here are the details:
- Contaminated: 214 power units, 59 towed units (40.03% of total violations).
- Cracks and voids: 98 each in power and towed units (28.74%).
- Loose and/or missing: 25 in power units, 48 in towed units (10.70%).
- Worn: 64 in power units, 76 in towed units (20.53%).
Performance-Based Brake Tester (PBBT) used during Brake Safety Week
A PBBT is a specialized piece of equipment used to assess the braking performance of commercial trucks. It measures the braking force of each wheel and the overall braking efficiency of the vehicle.
The results from a PBBT help ensure that commercial vehicles comply with regulatory standards for braking performance. In the United States, a minimum braking efficiency of 43.5% is required by federal regulations and the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria.
During the CVSA Brake Safety Week, 11 states used PBBTs for inspections. Of 397 PBBT inspections, 18 failed (4.5% out-of-service rate).
Dangers of brake failure on commercial trucks
Brake failure in commercial trucks significantly endangers drivers and others on the road, especially given a truck's size and weight. Key risks include:
- Increased stopping distances: Failed brakes extend a truck's stopping distance, often preventing timely stops to avoid collisions.
- Loss of control: Brake failure can cause a large truck to lose control, especially during emergency braking. This often leads to multi-vehicle collisions and rollovers.
- High-speed impacts: Brake failure at high speeds can cause severe crashes on highways. Due to the high speed combined with a truck's size and weight, there's a higher risk of widespread damage, serious injuries, and fatalities.
- Downhill hazards: Without reliable brakes, trucks can accelerate uncontrollably downhill. This often complicates turn navigation and intersection stops.
Get legal help from an experienced truck accident attorney
While numerous trucks with brake violations may have been removed from the road during Brake Safety Week, there are potentially many others endangering road users. A crash involving a commercial truck can be devastating to victims and their families. Our attorneys at Pajcic & Pajcic have seen the physical, emotional, and financial toll truck accidents cause.
The aftermath of a truck accident often involves complex legal and insurance issues. Our legal team knows how to deal with negligent trucking companies and their insurers. We'll fight to protect your rights every step of the way and negotiate for maximum compensation. We've successfully handled thousands of truck accident cases. That includes a $1 billion verdict for the family of a college freshman who was killed in a crash caused by two negligent truck drivers.
To find out how we can help you, contact us online for a free legal consultation. We'll help you explore your potential legal options and answer any questions you have.