Some of the hazards drivers face are unpredictable and unpreventable. But the vast majority of traffic hazards can be predicted and prevented. Brakes are a good example. All motor vehicles rely on properly working brakes, especially large commercial vehicles like tractor-trailers. Yet, a random inspection on any highway in the U.S. might reveal a large semi with improperly working breaks. This greatly increases the risk of a fatal truck accident.
America's transportation system is so large that regulators cannot keep up with inspections of commercial vehicles. Still, select and random inspections serve as a reminder that all trucks should be inspection-ready at any time.
Earlier this summer, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) conducted random brake inspections in a one-day campaign. In all, the CVSA checked some 6,337 commercial vehicles on May 6. Of the vehicles tested, 14.2 percent were immediately taken out of service for brake violations.
The good news is that the percentage of out-of-service vehicles was lower this year than last year. The bad news is that the number of commercial vehicles with brake problems is still unacceptably high. Tractor-trailers with inadequate or improperly maintained brakes are accidents waiting to happen. And when they do happen, occupants of smaller vehicles are usually the ones who suffer injury and death.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a serious truck accident, bad brakes may have played a role. In order to better understand your rights and legal options, please share your story with an experienced personal injury attorney.