Between September 16 and 22, drivers of commercial motor vehicles across the nation will be stopped for brake inspections. This is part of Brake Safety Week, an annual event held by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. The CVSA has long been raising awareness of brake-related violations, so drivers in West Virginia will want to make sure their brake systems were properly installed and continue to be properly maintained.

CVSA-certified personnel will be conducting mostly Level I inspections, which check for driver-related violations in addition to those crucial vehicle-related issues like air and hydraulic fluid leaks, defective rotors, corroded air reservoirs, missing parts and worn-down linings and pads. In those jurisdictions that use performance-based brake testers, personnel will measure brake efficiency by dividing total brake force by the vehicle’s total weight.

Brake Safety Week is part of Operation Airbrake, which was started by the CVSA in partnership with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Earlier, the FMCSA released a report called the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, showing that brake violations made up nearly a third of all pre-crash violations with large trucks.

They also made up the majority of violations during the CVSA’s International Roadcheck last year. (The 2018 Roadcheck took place from June 5 to 7; its results are forthcoming.)

Bad brakes increase the risk for commercial truck accidents, especially rear-end collisions. Those who survive such an accident may be eligible for compensation, but may want to retain a lawyer for every step. The lawyer might have professionals explain the mechanical side of the crash to show how the trucking company was negligent. The trucking company might be aggressive in denying a settlement, but the lawyer may decide to pursue the claim until it’s clear that litigation is the only option left for moving forward.