Pennsylvania residents may be surprised to learn that a recent one-day safety blitz conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance led to almost 2,000 semi-tractor trailers being ordered off the road. The nonprofit association of trade groups and national and local traffic safety officials concentrated on commercial vehicle braking systems during Brake Safety Day on May 3, and the group says that 1,146 of the 1,989 tractor-trailers that were pulled off the road during the initiative were ordered out of service due to some sort of braking violation or issue.
Inspectors affiliated with the CVSA checked the braking systems and other safety equipment of 9,524 commercial vehicles in all 10 Canadian provinces and 33 U.S. states during Brake Safety Day. The goal of the initiative was to identify trucks that posed an immediate threat to other road users. Inspectors also wished to find out how well commercial vehicle operators were repairing and maintaining their fleets.
Brakes are extremely important on vehicles weighing as much as 80,000 pounds, and most modern commercial trucks are fitted with advanced anti-lock systems powered by compressed air. About half of the trucks inspected during Brake Safety Day were required to have ABS systems by law, and about 8 percent of them violated federal safety regulations in some way. Braking system violations are the most common reason cited by inspectors for ordering commercial vehicles off the road, and the CVSA says that it plans to hold another brake safety blitz in September.
Law enforcement generally investigates truck accidents thoroughly when truck drivers failed to take evasive action prior to crashing. This type of accident is sometimes caused by a mechanical defect or debris in the roadway, but distraction, impairment or fatigue are more commonly responsible. Experienced personal injury attorneys may scrutinize accident reports carefully to identify negligent actions and patterns of reckless behavior that could be used to establish liability in lawsuits filed on behalf of accident victims.