Siegal & RichardsonLLP

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Brake Safety Week finds nearly 5,000 trucks with violations

Truckers in California may remember that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance held its annual Brake Safety Week back in September. The results of that inspection spree have been released. A total of 35,080 commercial vehicles in the U.S. and Canada were stopped for inspection, and among those, 4,955 were placed out of service.

Brake violations were, incidentally, the number one reason for out-of-service violations during the International Roadcheck, accounting for 28.4 percent of them. This 72-hour inspection spree, also held by the CVSA, took place in June. The 2017 Brake Safety Day naturally saw fewer trucks being inspected, but the percentage of OOS violations was almost the same: 14 percent compared to 14.1 percent in 2018.

The 2018 Brake Safety Week focused on vehicles that call for antilock braking systems. These systems are meant to help drivers maintain control in dangerous situations, so inspectors pulled any trucks out of service that were missing them or failed to maintain them.

Hydraulic-braked trucks that require ABS saw the least amount of ABS violations (234 out of 5,354, or 4.4 percent). 2,176 out of 26,143 air-braked power units (8.3 percent) were found with similar violations. Trailers saw the highest percentage, 12.5 percent, with 2,224 out of 17,857 being sidelined.

This inspection spree should serve as a warning that negligent truck maintenance can raise the risk for accidents. Those who are injured due to a trucker's negligence may be able to file a claim against the trucking company, but they will want a lawyer to speak on their behalf at the negotiation table and, if necessary, in the courtroom. A successful claim could cover past and future medical expenses, lost income, vehicle repair costs and more. An attorney could start by evaluating the case and hiring investigators and other third parties to strengthen it.

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