Police officers on highway patrol in Missouri and around the country will be paying especially close attention to semi-tractor trailers during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Brake Safety Week. During the seven-day initiative, which begins of Sept. 16, safety inspectors will be looking for worn or defective brake components and checking air lines for leaks during extremely thorough North American Standard Level I inspections. The functionality of electronic systems designed to warn truck drivers about possible brake problems will also be put to the test.
Dependable brakes are of crucial importance when they are expected to safely control vehicles that can weigh as much as 40 tons. Despite this, trucks with dangerously worn, poorly maintained or inadequately repaired braking systems remain common on the nation’s roads. When researchers from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration inspected trucks that had been involved in accidents over a three-year period, they discovered that almost a third of them had brake-related safety violations. Dangerous braking problems were even more common on tractor-trailers that had been involved in brake-crucial accidents.
The CVSA hopes to educate truck drivers and commercial vehicle owners about these issues during Brake Safety Week, and commercial vehicle inspectors will be authorized to order trucks that pose a threat to the safety of other road users out of service. When the annual safety blitz was reduced to a single day in 2016, inspectors ordered 14 percent of the trucks they inspected off the road for brake-related violations.
Experienced personal injury attorneys may be able to seek both compensatory and punitive damages when pursuing truck accident lawsuits against negligent commercial vehicle operators. Ignoring safety regulations and allowing dangerous tractor-trailers onto public roads endangers the community as a whole, and juries may feel that punitive damages are appropriate to deter others from behaving in the same reckless manner.