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Brake Safety Week turns focus to commercial vehicle safety

Motorists who may be concerned about the safety of the commercial vehicles with which they share roadways in North Carolina and around the country may be interested in knowing more about Brake Safety Week, which runs annually each September. The 2016 dates for the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's Operation Airbrake program held in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are Sept. 11-17.

This national outreach and enforcement campaign is designed to improve commercial vehicle brake safety throughout North America. Because the brakes of commercial vehicles require routine inspection and consistent maintenance in order to help ensure proper performance and operation, most inspections that occur during this time are full Level 1 inspections. Commercial vehicles are checked for defective and out-of-adjustment brakes as well as for brake and anti-lock braking system violations, and some vehicles may be placed out of service.

The CVSA says that during the brake safety inspections, which are conducted by law enforcement agencies, specific attention is given to whether a vehicle's ABS malfunction indicator lights are in good working order. Inspectors also look for worn drums, rotors, pads or linings, hydraulic fluid or air leaks, loose or missing parts and other faulty braking system components.

In 2015, 12.3 percent of the vehicles that were inspected during Brake Safety Week were placed out of service. Although the CVSA campaign may go a long way in improving safety on both highways and local roads, commercial truck accidents remain a concern. North Carolina residents who are seriously injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle may find it in their best interest to have legal representation when seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses.

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