Brake Safety Week is here! Are you prepared? The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) holds Brake Safety Week each year – this year, it is being held on August 21 – 27, 2022. Read below to see what you need to do to prepare before hitting the road fully.
What is Brake Safety Week?
Brake Safety Week is a yearly brake safety inspection held by the CVSA. Law enforcement in Canada, Mexico, and the United States conducts the inspections. During this week-long inspection, inspectors will conduct the North American Standard Level I and V Inspections. The data from these inspections will be reported back to the CVSA. We will announce these results in the fall as soon as the CVSA releases them.
What is the Purpose of Brake Safety Week?
Violations related to brakes are one the largest reasons for an out-of-service violations during roadside inspections. This is according to last year’s International Roadcheck. The data from this inspection stated that brake systems and brake adjustment violations were about 38.9% of all out-of-service violations. Because of this large percentage – the CVSA’s Brake Safety Week plans to do the following:
- Find and remove any commercial vehicles with critical vehicle violations found on the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria.
- Hold inspections and find any commercial vehicles that do not have critical violations by giving these vehicles a CVSA decal.
- Help encourage proactive vehicle maintenance, not just during the week-long inspection.
- Acknowledges the hard work and commitment practiced by safety inspections, motor carriers, and drivers.
- Help remind all drivers about the importance of brake maintenance and pre-trip and post-trip inspections.
- Inspectors give educational brake safety tips.
What to Expect from Brake Safety Week?
Below are some good tips for truck drivers preparing for brake safety week.
First and foremost – do your homework. If you are stopped, your inspection will be much smoother if you are fully educated and have everything you need before hitting the road. During Brake Safety Week, you should educate yourself on the FMCSA brake regulations, brake maintenance, and more. Also, be sure you have your driver’s license, registration, and paperwork readily available in your cab to show the inspector.
Secondly, you should know what inspectors are watching for. This year – the inspectors will focus on the brake system to find any out-of-adjustment brakes and brake system violations. Below is a list of what the inspectors will be looking for:
- Missing or loose parts
- Air or hydraulic leaks
- Worn pads, linings, rotors, or drums
- Faulty brake system components
- Anti-lock braking system (ABS) indicator lights
Before you hit the road, take a full walk around your truck, test for leaks, and check your brake shoes. When walking around, if you notice any loose hoses, these will need to be repaired. Listen for any air leaks as well. You should check for any low air signals, check the air disc brake rotors for any cracks, and inspect your brake linings for cracks and wear and tear.
Once you have completed your walk around, if you notice any issues, get these fixed before hitting the road. Checking your truck before Brake Safety Week can help prevent any out-of-service violation citations and less time on the road.
CVSA President Capt. John Broers with the South Dakota Highway Patrol states, “Poorly maintained brake systems can reduce the braking capacity and stopping distance of large trucks and motor coaches, which poses a serious risk to the driver and public safety. In those split-second emergency situations, the proper functionality of the brake systems on large commercial motor vehicles is crucial.”