According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), brake system violations and out of adjustment brakes represent 50 percent of out-of-service violations that are issued for semi trucks. While semi truck accidents can occur for any number of reasons, some of the most serious wrecks occur when brakes fail. Due to the sheer size and weight of these commercial vehicles, when brakes go out, the driver is unable to stop or slow down the truck, which often results in devastating consequences, injuries and sometimes deaths.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a semi truck accident and you feel that semi truck brake safety was an issue in the incident, contact experienced lawyers who will review your case and help you to seek compensation for your injuries.
How to Improve Semi Truck Brake Safety
Initially developed in Canada in 1998, the CVSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have continued to conduct investigations into semi truck brake safety by way of a campaign known as Operation Airbrake. According to the agencies, the program took place between September 8, 2013 and September 14, 2013 and was designed to improve semi truck brake safety throughout the U.S. and reduce the number of highway accidents caused by malfunctioning brake systems on semi trucks. The program, aside from conducting inspections, aims to educate mechanics, drivers and companies on the importance of brake operation, maintenance and inspection.
According to the results of this year’s program, out of 20,067 vehicles that were inspected for semi truck brake safety, 2,714 were deemed to be “out-of-service,” dropping the out-of-service rate to 13.5 percent, a near-record low. In 2012 and 2011, the out-of-service rates were 15.3 percent and 14.2 percent, respectively.
However, the most recent out-of-service rate tied results from 2010, marking one of the safest inspections since the agencies began to collect semi truck brake safety data over 15 years ago. Many semi truck accident lawyers across the country are pleased with the improvement, even though many more vehicles may still be defective and pose hazards on the country’s roadways.
According to the semi truck brake safety inspection that pulled 2,714 vehicles from the highways, that was still a rather large number of commercial trucks that could have potentially caused accidents, injuries or deaths if the brakes had failed. Additionally, although the number of trucks that were placed out-of-service due to brakes is down, the total number of out-of-service orders still falls around 20 percent, or one out of every five semi trucks.
When a semi truck is placed out-of-service, it is deemed to be too dangerous to drive away from the place of inspection. Instead, these vehicles are towed to places where they do not pose a risk to other drivers or pedestrians.
In many cases, those who are involved in semi truck accidents are not fully aware of the potential causes or reasons behind the incident. Many factors, including airbrakes, are not always considered, so it is important to consult with lawyers to learn more about your legal rights. You will want to hold the appropriate parties accountable for your injuries.
While trucking companies are responsible for conducting routine inspections and performing maintenance as needed, drivers also have the ability inspect their brakes before driving. Although a driver may not be able to maneuver underneath the semi truck, he or she may check low air signals, listen for air leaks and look for damage. For this reason, if you are involved in a semi truck accident and you decide to file a claim against a company, you may also be able to hold the driver accountable for your injuries as well as the company responsible for maintaining a semi truck that does not pose safety hazards on the roadways. Experienced lawyers can review your case and help you to make that distinction.
Injured in a Semi Truck Accident? Contact Our Lawyers Today
If you or someone you love were injured or killed in a semi truck accident, the affiliated lawyers at the American Injury Attorney Group can help you to determine if you have a valid claim. We are accepting clients who were affected by inadequate semi truck brake safety inspections, and our affiliated lawyers can help you to seek the compensation to which you may be entitled. You may be eligible to recover damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages or wrongful death if you are filing on behalf of a loved one.