Did you know that a Commercial Motor Vehicle traveling at 65 mph can take up to two football fields to come to a full stop? And that is with proper brakes. If you have poorly maintained brakes, you would have different results. Chances are you could be doubling that distance and are likely to be in serious trouble. This is why Brake Safety Week exists.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's Brake Safety Week started this week and will be running until August 29th. Brake Safety Week is an important week for truck drivers because properly functioning brakes are crucial for safe driving. The truck's brakes can withhold tough conditions, but you must inspect your brakes in order for your truck to perform well through its life.
What is CVSA's Brake Safety Week?
Throughout the week, law enforcement officials will be conducting roadside inspections on commercial motor vehicles to identify any brake violations. If your truck has any violations, they must be corrected in order for it to stay on the roads.
If you pass eligible inspections, you will receive a passed-inspection CVSA decal.
What Will They Be Inspecting?
Officials will be inspecting the CMV's brakes to make sure there are no violations. They will also pay close attention to the brake hoses and tubing, which must be attached, undamaged, have no leakage, and provide flexibility. Hoses and tubing are essential for the braking system, and if they fail, then it may be difficult to brake well.
Why Does Brake Safety Week Exist?
It's part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's Operation Airbrake Program. This program focuses on improving brake safety throughout the United States. From the program, CVSA's ultimate goal is "to reduce the number of highways crashed caused by faulty braking systems on commercial motor vehicles." Although inspecting the brake system and its components are always part of the roadside inspection process, Brake Safety Week highlights the importance of brake system, brake maintenance, operation, and performance.
Just like how you would practicing being a safe driver, inspecting your brakes is equally important. CVSA reported that 13.5% of vehicles inspected during Brake Safety Week 2019 were removed from roadways for brake-related violations. Not only that, but CVSA also reported that brake systems were cited as the third most frequent vehicle-related cause in 2017, after other vehicles and tires.
What is the Best Way to Inspect my Brakes?
One simple way to inspect your brakes is to demonstrate the "eyes, hands, and feet" routine you learned in studying the pre-trip inspection routine for your CDL exam. Here's the routine to refresh your memory:
Eyes – look at how your tractor and trailer are sitting. If the vehicle is leaning or slouching to one side, you may have suspension issues or a flat tire.
Hands – During the pre-trip, use your hands to check that electrical cords, airlines, and glad hands between the tractor and trailer are all secure. There must be no abrasions, cuts, and air leakage. If the brake hoses are rough or twisting, you will be able to identify that by seeing or touching them.
Feet – Use your feet to conduct the three-stage brake test: applied pressure test, warning light and buzzer, and tractor/trailer protection valve pop-out.
At US Cargo Control, We Care About Your Safety
Again, just like how you would practice being a safe driver, inspecting your brakes is equally as important. Be aware of your brake system, just like how you would inspect other components of your vehicle. If you continue to do this, you will leave others and yourself safe from dangerous situations.
With a focus on safer driving behaviors, securing your cargo is just as important. Read the Dos and Don’ts on Load Securement to keep others and yourself safe.