CVSA has scheduled their Brake Safety week for August 22-28. The North American Standard Inspection will always include brakes, but why a whole week for them?
- 6% of all vehicle out-of-service violations were due to brake adjustment. More than any other violation.
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration cites brake system failure as the third most relevant factor in vehicle crash fatalities.
- 8 in 20 of the FMCSA’s top 20 vehicle violations were brake-related problems.
- Last Brake Safety Week saw 12% of the almost 44,000 CMV inspections placed out-of-service because of brake problems.
Statistics are good, but brake failure is more than just a citation. It costs human lives.
Arkansas saw three school children die in 2001 because a truck-tractor failed to stop at a ramp and crashed into a school bus. Massachusetts took brake inspection more seriously when a gravel truck slid through a house. Connecticut did the same after a dump truck killed several people. All of these incidents were investigated and found that the brake systems had been failing in all cases.
The FMSCA has detailed guidelines and regulations on brake inspection and maintenance. If you are a CML holder than you should be aware of determining if your brakes need repair.
Drivers are encouraged to know when their brakes are not operational and cannot enable the parking brake for the same purpose. It is not acceptable to duct tape air hoses or clamp them.
These and any other brake system discrepancies are going to be checked frequently the week of August 22-28, so if you need your brakes checked, do so quickly!
Truckers and their companies generally want to operate safely, and stopping when and where they want is a major factor in driving. So make sure you have your brakes maintained, not just for this week, but for the whole year.
Sources: Why Truck Inspectors Devote Full Week to Improving Brake Safety, cvsa.org/all-inspection-levels, ecfr.gov
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A state fund raiser. Happened to me in Kansas. Even the mechanic that came out after I was ‘ shut down’ couldn’t find the problem. He signed off on the inspection though. How can a professional mechanic can’t find the bad brake but a Trooper, who didn’t even get under the truck, did. Cost me unnecessary time and money.