CVSA Brake Safety Week 2023: Everything You Need to Know

semi truck tail light close up

Brake Safety Week 2023 is fast approaching! This annual event put on by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) aims at bringing awareness to critical issues surrounding brake systems for semi trucks and other commercial vehicle haulers.

Starting next week (August 20th-26th), inspectors across the United States, Canada, and Mexico will conduct inspections and remove commercial motor vehicles from the roads with any out-of-service violations, until they become resolved. These inspectors will also compile data from these roadside checks and come up with results that will be published later this fall to determine how effective their efforts were, as well as where the efforts of the next campaign need to be.

Read on to learn more about Brake Safety Week 2023 and what to expect from inspectors this year. 

Focus Area for Brake Safety Week 2023

Each year, the campaign narrows in on a focus area generally predetermined by the data from the previous year. For 2023, the Brake Safety Week campaign focuses on the condition of brake lining and brake pads.

brake safety week 2022 resultsTable provided by CVSA 2022 Roadcheck Results.

Brake Safety Week continues to be an important event for truck drivers considering the results from last year's International Roadcheck campaign. In total, there were 58,287 inspections conducted across Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. As shown above, the top "out-of-service" (OOS) violation category for commercial motor vehicles involved brake system issues, accounting for a quarter (25.2%) of total OOS violations. Additionally, defective service brakes were another top OOS violation category contributing to the overall safety and effectiveness of a truck's brake system.

For last year's Brake Safety Week campaign results, 38,117 inspections occurred, with 13.3% of commercial motor vehicles placed out-of-service for brake-related critical vehicle inspection violations.

Besides removing commercial motor vehicles from operation, 2023 Brake Safety Week aims to promote education around brake systems and maintenance. The campaign serves as a reminder to both drivers and fleet operators about the importance of regular vehicle maintenance and adherence to safety protocols. Fully operational brakes helps to reduce the risk of accidents, protecting not only the drivers but everyone on roadways.


Brake Safety Week 2023: Inspection List

During this week, brake inspectors will be conducting checks for components of the vehicle's brake systems. Typically, these checks include criteria set by the Level I North American Standard Inspection, along with Level IV Special Instruction checklist. For this year's focus, inspectors will specifically be looking for components such as:

  • Brake lines
  • Brake pads
  • Brake hoses
  • Tubing

In addition, inspectors will be looking at other parts of your brake system to ensure everything runs smoothly. These components include:

  • Loose or missing parts
  • Air or hydraulic fluid leaks
  • Worn drums or rotors
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS) indicator lights
  • Other faulty brake-system components

For all components inspected during a check, view the Inspection Checklist document.

brake pad maintenance for semi truck

How to Prepare for Brake Safety Week 2023?

It's important to always stay ahead of the curve, regardless if Brake Safety Week is coming up or not. Performing pre- and post-trip inspections keeps your commercial motor vehicle compliant, as well as ensuring safety for yourself and others on the road.

The CVSA provided 10 tips on inspecting and maintaining brake lining and brake pads, listed below:

  1. Inspect visible portions of the brake lining and pads before and after your trips.
  2. Look for signs of missing lining, such as grooves in the drum from rivet contact.
  3. Look at the shoe-to-drum clearance and ensure there is adequate lining on the shoe.
  4. Look for any signs of leaks from the hub or other components that may be contaminating the lining/pad surface.
  5. Ensure there are no missing lining blocks.
  6. Check for visible cracks or void in the lining block.
  7. Check for any exposed rivets or lining blocks that look loose on the shoe.
  8. Pay attention to the condition of the rotor, such as heavily rusted rotors across the entire friction surface on either side on metal-to-metal contact.
  9. Make sure all repairs are consistent with the brake manufacturer's requirements and guidelines.
  10. Note any issues in your driver vehicle inspection logs and report them to the motor carrier to have any defective lining/pads repaired.

Overall, 2023's Brake Safety Week campaign focuses on the importance of regular maintenance and repairing of brake systems - specifically for brake lining and pads. Trucking companies and drivers are encouraged to prepare for the event by inspecting and maintaining their vehicles regularly. Together, we can make our roads safer and contribute to a secure and reliable transportation network for everyone.

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