Defective brakes are one of the leading vehicle-related factors that cause fatal truck accidents in Florida and across the country.

This is why it is discouraging to see that 14.2 percent of the commercial motor vehicles that were inspected in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual, unannounced brake check needed to be placed out-of-service due to safety violations, according to recently released results.

The annual brake check was held on May 6 and involved CVSA inspectors conducting inspections in 32 U.S. states and Canadian provinces and territories. A total of 6,337 commercial motor vehicles were checked over the course of the day, the CVSA states in a July 22 press release about the safety event.

(The CVSA is a non-profit organization made up of federal motor carrier safety officials and trucking industry representatives from the U.S., Canada and Mexico.)

According to the CVSA, a total of 900 commercial motor vehicles were placed out- of-service (OOS) due to brake violations of any kind, including 9.0 percent for brake adjustment violations and  7.7 percent for brake component violations.

Brake component violations, the CVSA notes, can include cracked or missing components, damaged tubing or brake hoses, air leaks and defects in drums and rotors.

According to the CVSA, brakes with manual adjusters were 2.5 times more likely to be “out of adjustment” than those with self-adjusting brake adjusters, which are required in all commercial motor vehicles with air brakes that are operating in the U.S. which were manufactured after October 20, 1994.

The 14.2 percent pulled out of service due to brake violations actually marked a decrease from the 15.2 percent recorded in last year’s check.

(Florida was among the states where the 2014 inspections occurred. Out of the 2,259 commercial motor vehicles that were checked, 18 percent were placed out-of-service due to brake violations.)

Additionally, the CVSA reports, 664 commercial motor vehicles, or 10.5 percent, were placed on OOS status for other items discovered during the May 6 brake checks.

Brake-Related Violations are Serious Safety Concern

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s most recently issued Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report, vehicle-related factors were identified in 4.3 of fatal truck accidents in 2013. Tires were the most commonly cited defect, followed by brake systems.

As the CVSA states, “Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce the braking capability and increase stopping distances … which pose a serious risk to driver and public safety.”

Hopefully, being cited for brake violations during this year’s unannounced brake check will serve as a wake-up call to those drivers and their companies.

The CVSA will soon hold an “inspection spree” during Brake Safety Week between September 6-12. (Last year’s spree led to 2,162 trucks being placed out-of-service for brake violations.) The inspections are part of the CVSA’s Operation Airbrake safety campaign.

If you have been involved in an accident involving a tractor-trailer or other commercial motor vehicle, it is important to contact an Orlando truck accident lawyer who can conduct an immediate investigation into the cause of the accident.

If the accident involves a vehicle-related factor such as defective brakes, it may be the basis for seeking compensation from the trucking company due to negligent maintenance and inspection of its fleet or from the manufacturer of a defective part.

To learn more, contact Orlando truck accident lawyer Frank M. Eidson, P.A., today by phone or online. We serve clients in Orlando, Winter Park and throughout Florida. We would be glad to provide an immediate and free consultation about your case.


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