February 15, 2018

Trucks Can Have Defective Brakes

Trucks Can Have Defective Brakes


Trucks are the massive machines with which we share our roads, and as such, they pose a serious threat when it comes to traffic accidents. One of the most elemental safety factors of any vehicle is its braking system, and this is even truer of the commercial trucks that travel our national highways. In response to this critical safety issue, a recent safety event took a closer look.

Brake Safety Day

As part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Day on September 7, 2017, enforcement personnel throughout the United States and Canada conducted brake inspections on thousands of commercial vehicles—14 percent of which were pulled from service due specifically to violations that related to their braking systems. Brake Safety Day’s intention is to perform roadside inspections of commercial trucks to aid in the better identification of and the more effective removal of those trucks that are in violation of critical brake regulations and that, therefore, endanger others with whom they share the road. When a semi-truck’s brakes aren’t in safe working condition, it can cause a serious accident or can exacerbate any ensuing accident. This is a critical safety issue because truck accidents are among our roadways’ deadliest accidents.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you know just how harrowing that is and you’re likely to be unsure about what to do next and about where to turn for support. The experienced legal team at The Levin Firm is here to help. Our dedicated truck accident attorneys have the skill, knowledge, and commitment to fight for your rights and for your rightful compensation.

The Safety Data

Brake Safety Day elicited helpful data related to truck safety:

  • More than 6,000 trucks were inspected in the United States;
  • Fourteen percent of these trucks were pulled from service for brake-related safety violations; and
  • Twenty Two percent of these trucks were pulled from service for safety violations of any kind.

In other words, Brake Safety Day implemented a safety event that utilized a large, inclusive sample of commercial trucks on our roadways and, in so doing, determined that a significant portion of these trucks were in violation of brake-related safety regulations and shouldn’t have been on the road in the first place.

Antilock Braking Systems

The safety event also calculated for how well antilock braking systems (ABS) were functioning in the commercial trucks that were inspected. ABS help truckers to stop their massive vehicles in the shortest possible driving distance under a variety of driving conditions and also help drivers maintain control of their steering in those situations where a truck’s tires begin to slip. In other words, antilock braking systems are critical to maintaining safely functioning big rigs on our roads.

If a semi’s ABS malfunction light wasn’t working or if the malfunction light remained on (in indication of a problem with the ABS), it was registered as an ABS violation in the study. The findings revealed that a significant percentage of those commercial trucks that are required to have well-functioning antilock braking systems were in violation of that requirement.

Brake-Related Violations

The president of the CVSA relays that “brake-related violations are the largest percentage of all out-of-service violations cited during roadside inspections.” Further, he shares that Brake Safety Day allows the CVSA the opportunity to improve the brake safety of trucks on our nations highways and byways. In this effort, the CVSA works to decrease the number of accidents caused by unsafe braking systems through the implementation of roadside inspections and via improved education related to brake safety for truckers, trucking companies, and truck mechanics.

Improving Safety on Our Roads

Properly working braking systems are elemental to the safe operation of commercial trucks. When these systems are installed improperly or are poorly maintained, it can reduce the truck’s ability to brake effectively and can increase its stopping distance—both of which can greatly contribute to serious truck accidents. Properly functioning antilock brakes—in combination with safely maintained braking systemshelp to create a rigorous platform in support of the truck’s stability control and allow for further functional enhancements in other safety-related systems.

Trucks and Safety

Because of their extreme size, semi-trucks experience reduced maneuverability and are inherently dangerous. There are however methods for forging a safer trucking industry that are instrumental to helping to keep our roads safe. One of the most critical means of accomplishing this is through effective brake-maintenance programs that are implemented by the trucking companies themselves. Unsafe braking systems play a major role in dangerous commercial-truck accidents, and as such, it is critical that they be adequately monitored and maintained.

Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are some of the deadliest accidents on our roads, and they often lead to extensive physical, psychological, and financial devastation. In fact, it’s difficult to overstate the negative effects evinced by truck accidents. There are, however, some sobering statistics related to these terrifying accidents that can help clarify the safety issue they pose:

  • Those occupants of the vehicle that’s not the truck in the truck accident are far more likely to become traffic fatalities; in 2015, 97 percent of truck-accident fatalities were either occupant of the other vehicle or pedestrians.
  • From 2009 to 2015, truck-accident fatalities rose by 22 percent.
  • Eleven percent of all traffic fatalities in 2015 involved an 18-wheeler.

These numbers are so significant that they should serve as an important reminder that – because you share the road with commercial trucks – it is always in your best interest to proceed with caution.

If You Have Been Injured in a Truck Accident, Consult with a Skilled Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer

If you or someone you care about has been injured in a truck accident, you are no doubt overwhelmed by its enormous impact. Help, however, is available. The dedicated truck accident attorneys at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia understand the difficulty you’re going through and are committed to aggressively advocating for your just compensation. Our experienced legal team is here to help, so please contact or call us at 215-825-5183 today.

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