The importance of brake maintenance for big rigs

Most drivers are aware of the dangers of trucking. With the long hours drivers spend on the road and the potential for impaired driving in the industry has many drivers on the alert for 18-wheelers on the highway.

However, one aspect of trucking that people should consider more carefully is the brakes. Even if a driver is perfectly sober, well rested, well trained and alert, poorly maintained brakes could have disastrous consequences.

National Brake Safety Week

Every year in mid-December, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) administers “National Brake Safety Week.” During this time, they do regular stops and checks of drivers’ braking systems to ensure safety. Last year, 14 percent of the vehicles stopped needed to be grounded due to safety issues with their brakes.

Fourteen percent might not seem like a lot, but imagine more than one out of every 10 trucks on the road driving with inadequately maintained brakes.

We discussed the difficulties with trucks braking in an earlier blog post. With the size and weight of big rigs, they require much more power and energy to stop compared to other vehicles. Even the slightest problem with the brakes of an 18-wheeler could cause major injuries.

While it important for the CVSA to do brake inspections like this, 14 percent is not nearly safe enough. The trucking industry has a responsibility to keep commercial vehicles safe for everyone on the road.

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