Truck accidents in Illinois and around the country are often fatal, which is why truck safety is such an important issue. Every year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducts a massive North American truck safety inspection effort that lasts for three days. This year, the 2021 International Roadcheck resulted in the removal of 6,700 trucks and 2,000 truck drivers between May 4 and 6.

Faulty brake systems were the top problem this year

Faulty brake systems were found to be the No. 1 cause of vehicle violations during this year’s Roadcheck. Those results were somewhat surprising since safety inspectors had not made brake safety their primary focus.

This year, inspectors were making an extra effort to highlight hours of service and lighting violations during the inspections. However, more than one-fourth of all safety violations were discovered concerning brake systems.

What causes brake problems in trucks?

Most of the safety violations in trucks can be blamed on a failure to complete proper inspections before and after a drive. While noticing problems with lighting and tires is usually easy for drivers, inspecting brakes for problems can take a little more effort. When a truck driver inspects their brakes, they must look at a complex system that includes:

• Brake lines
• Clamps
• Chamber
• Slack adjuster
• Pushrod
• Shoes
• Drums

If a new truck driver has not been trained to complete a thorough brake inspection, faulty areas of the brake system could be overlooked. It is also a possibility that some truck drivers skip the brake inspection step because of their tight driving schedules. Unfortunately, a failure to complete proper brake inspections could lead to serious motor vehicle accidents.

More focus on brake safety

On May 26, there was a surprise Brake Safety Day held by CVSA. After inspecting 10,091 trucks across the U.S., Mexico and Canada, inspectors placed 1,273 of the trucks out of service. The CVSA also plans to hold a Brake Safety Week from Aug. 22-28.


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