Drivers in Georgia and around the country can expect to see more semi-tractor trailers undergoing roadside inspections in September during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Brake Safety Week. The nonprofit group’s yearly safety blitz will begin on Sept. 15 and end on Sept. 21. Vehicles with ineffective brakes are a threat to all road users, but worn brake lines or faulty master cylinders are especially dangerous when they are tasked with stopping commercial vehicles that can weigh as much as 40 tons.
During Brake Safety Week, inspectors will be paying particular attention to brake hoses and tubing. Tractor-trailers are fitted with sophisticated compressed air braking systems, and even small leaks can cause dangerous pressure drops. Commercial vehicles that fail roadside inspections will be ordered out of service until repairs have been made. Trucks that meet federal safety standards will be given a decal and allowed to continue their journeys.
Brake Safety Week is important because semi-tractor trailers with defective or poorly maintained brakes are worryingly common. During the 2018 International Roadcheck initiative, almost half of the commercial vehicles taken out of service were ordered off the road due to brake-related violations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s list of the 20 most common truck citations includes six brake-related violations.
When their clients have been injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a commercial vehicle, experienced personal injury attorneys may scrutinize the truck operator’s violation history to see if it reveals a pattern of negligent behavior. These companies are expected to do all that they reasonably can to protect the public, and they may be held financially responsible in civil court when they fail to meet this duty. Attorneys might also seek to have the truck inspected for signs of neglected maintenance, defective safety systems or botched repairs.