In America, big trucks are considered the rulers of the highways and byways. A crucial part of the commercial, industrial and consumer transportation in the United States, commercial trucks account for less than 4 percent of registered vehicles on the road, but are linked to a higher percentage of traffic accidents. As a means of making our nation’s roadways safer, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) recognizes Brake Safety Week.
The CVSA is an international non-profit organization with a mission of promoting commercial motor vehicle safety and security. In its three decades of existence, the CVSA has provided leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. Annual Brake Safety Week, which was held from September 12-18 this year, is one of the organizations’ safety events. Part of the Operation Air Brake Campaign, Brake Safety Week is geared toward improving compliance, maintenance, inspection and performance of commercial vehicle braking systems.
As part of the event, inspectors, law enforcement and other trucking industry stakeholders conduct educational activities, as well as inspections. The program helps increase awareness that properly operating commercial truck equipment saves lives and companies’ money because of vehicles being pulled out of service.
Drivers of non-commercial vehicles also benefit from this special awareness initiative. Even though Brake Safety Week takes place once a year, it should serve as a reminder to be aware of driving safety precautions at all times. At any time of year, accidents occur under even the most ideal conditions. While smaller cars may have less of an expectation regarding braking distances and speeds, the three second – or cars length – distance doesn’t apply to big trucks. With commercial trucks, including tractor-trailers and diesel trucks, weight and size contribute to problems with braking capability.
These larger vehicles have poor braking capabilities and may need 47 percent farther stopping distance in dry weather conditions. Adding risky driver behavior, inclement weather or even slippery roads, stopping power is minimized and other risks, such as jackknifing and loss of control, may enter the equation.
While Brake Safety Week has contributed to increased safety awareness, over eight percent of fatal crashes involve big commercial trucks. The trucking industry and federal government have worked to increase roadway safety and encouraged technological changes in the braking systems for big trucks.
As the CVSA continues to work with the federal government and trucking industry to make North America’s roadways safer, car drivers can help make roadways safer by developing driving habits that reduce the risk for accidents. Allowing for adequate passing space and avoiding driving impairments, such as substance use and distracted driving can help prevent losses and save lives.
If you’re ever involved in a trucking accident and need representation, we can help. Call us today at (405) 703-4567.