This September 16th – 22nd is “Brake Safety Week” for commercial trucks. While this probably escaped the awareness of most people, there is a reason why this week is actually important. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), commercial trucks involved in serious accidents are 50% more likely to have brake violations.
Commercial trucks with trailers can have a weight of as much as 80,000 pounds. If their brakes are not properly functioning, the velocity that these vehicles can assert on another vehicle in an accident is enormous. These types of accidents then have an increased probability of causing severe injuries and/or deaths.
Brake Safety Week is sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. Results from 2017’s Brake Safety Day, determined that 14% of all inspections conducted during that one-day brake safety initiative resulted in commercial vehicle being placed out of service for brake-related violations.
More information on CVSA’s efforts to help keep our roadways safe from unnecessary accidents can be found on their website.
From an attorney and driver perspective, this information serves as a reminder that commercial vehicles, especially the larger ones, need to be given more room to brake than a regular passenger vehicle. Trucks generally will leave large gaps in front of them for this purpose, and drivers should be wary about pulling into those gaps unless they can ascertain that there is enough room to safely do so, as placing your vehicle there changes the truck driver’s calculations on stopping time.