The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced that semi-tractor trailer inspectors will be paying particularly close attention to brake pads and linings during its upcoming Brake Safety Week initiative. During the safety blitz, which will begin on Aug. 20 and end on Aug. 26, commercial vehicles in Connecticut and around the country will be pulled over and subjected to Level I or Level V inspections. If CVSA-certified inspectors discover violations that place other road users in danger, commercial vehicles will be ordered out of service until work is performed to correct the violations.
Brake Safety Week
The CVSA organizes a Brake Safety Week every year because commercial vehicle brake problems are one of the leading causes of big rig accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s most recent Large Truck Crash Causation Study, 29% of the serious accidents involving commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds are caused by braking systems that are either defective or poorly maintained.
Trucks ordered out of service
When CVSA-certified inspectors checked the braking systems of 34,402 tractor-trailers during Brake Safety Week in August 2022, they issued 4,664 out-of-service orders for braking system violations. This means that more than 13% of the trucks inspected were found to have defective or inadequately maintained brakes. During a recent one-day CVSA brake safety blitz, 679 of the 5,901 commercial vehicles inspected were ordered out of service. During Level I and Level V commercial vehicle inspections, CVSA-certified inspectors:
- Look for cracked, loose or missing parts
- Check brake lines for air leaks
- Verify that braking systems have between 90 and 100 psi of air pressure
- Ensure that braking system warning devices are working properly
- Look for damage or excessive wear caused by corrosion or friction
Keeping road users safe
Safety initiatives like the CVSA’s Brake Safety Week are held to protect road users from dangerous trucks. Commercial vehicle operators are notified about these actions in advance, so they have plenty of time to prepare. This is why it is so worrying that more than 10% of the tractor-trailers inspected during operations like Brake Safety Week are ordered out of service.