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Brake Safety Week is Coming Soon
Mariah Barr
5 mins read

Time is running out to prepare your commercial vehicles for Brake Safety Week.

Yes, you read that right: Brake Safety Week is once again nearly upon us. The annual, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)-sponsored event is scheduled for August 20-26, 2023.

Still, don’t let the name fool you—while the focus area for this year is brake lining/pad violations, inspectors will be conducting full roadside inspections during the event (much like CVSA Roadcheck 2023, held in May).

Simply going through the motions of ensuring that your fleet’s brake systems are up to standards—and educating your drivers on the importance of brake system safety—isn’t enough. You must make sure that you are compliant in all areas, or you could put yourself and your drivers at risk of fines or out-of-service orders.

Now that Brake Safety Week 2023 is exactly one month away, it's time to educate and protect your fleet.

What to Expect During Brake Safety Week

During Brake Safety Week, inspectors pull over commercial motor vehicles to conduct North American Standard Inspections. They home in on brake systems and components including the following:

  • Mechanical components of air brakes and steering axle air brakes
  • Brake adjustments
  • Antilock braking systems
  • Air loss rate
  • Low air pressure warning devices
  • Tractor protection systems
  • Leaks or cracks in any system components

But more broadly, inspectors will also examine:

  • Drivers’ licenses and medical examiner’s certificates
  • Hours of service and record of duty status
  • Evidence of drug or alcohol use or possession
  • Seat belt use
  • Vehicle inspection reports (if applicable)
  • Cargo securement
  • Other critical components, such as coupling devices; driveline/driveshaft; exhaust and fuel systems; frames; lighting devices; steering mechanisms; suspensions; tires, wheels, rims, and hubs.

Commercial vehicles found to have brake-related out-of-service violations—or other driver or vehicle violations—will be immediately pulled from the roadways and prohibited from operating until issues are corrected.

Vehicles that don’t have any critical violations, however, will receive a CVSA decal indicating that they passed the inspection.

The Importance of Brake Safety Week

Having reliable brakes not only keeps your fleet and drivers compliant and safe, but it also protects others on the road.

According to the CVSA, during Brake Safety Week 2022, 13% of the 38,117 commercial motor vehicles inspected were placed out of service for brake-related violations.

And during CVSA Roadcheck 2021, brake system and brake adjustment violations accounted for more vehicle violations than any other vehicle violation category—accounting for 26.5% of all vehicle out-of-service conditions.

Furthermore, according to the FMCSA:

  • “Brake systems” was the third most cited vehicle-related factor in fatal commercial vehicle and passenger vehicle crashes. View other critical details on large truck and bus crash facts here.
  • Brake-related violations accounted for five out of the top 20 vehicle violations in 2021.

How to Prepare for Brake Safety Week 2023

You don’t want to take any chances with your fleet’s brakes—the whole point of Brake Safety Week is to ensure that commercial motor vehicles are safe and in good working condition.

August has also been designated Brake Safety Awareness Month, meaning that law enforcement agencies will actively perform outreach, education, and awareness campaigns to educate drivers, carriers, mechanics, and others on the importance of proper brake maintenance, operation, and performance.

So now is the time to protect yourself. To avoid having any of your trucks pulled from the road, perform full inspections of your fleet. While this may seem like a significant, time-consuming task, it will pay off in the long run by keeping you in compliance and violation-free. Because remember: you are ultimately responsible for any vehicle operating under your authority.

Just as importantly, you must ensure you are compliant in all other required areas to avoid fines and out-of-service orders. This includes everything from keeping your fleet's driver qualification files, CDLs, and medical certificates up to date, to performing and documenting required drug and alcohol tests and Clearinghouse checks.

Foley's DOT compliance software can help you out in all these areas. Schedule a free demo today to make your company's safety and compliance easier to manage!

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