You would expect a professional truck driver to drive a professionally maintained rig. Yet, recent statistics from Brake Safety Day show this is often not the case.
Brake Safety Day is an annual event promoted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. As part of it, commercial vehicle inspectors go out in force to stop trucks and check their brakes.
On May 26 this year, they examined 8,868 big rigs. As a result, they took an incredible 1,151trucks out of service for brake problems. If you assume those figures give an accurate reflection of all trucks on our roads, that means over 13% of truckers are driving vehicles whose brakes do not meet the required safety standards.
Effective braking ability is essential to reduce the risk of a crash
The bigger a vehicle, the more it takes to stop it and the more damage it can cause if you cannot stop it when you need to. A bicycle with defective brakes would be relatively easy to stop, and would probably not do anyone other than the cyclist much harm. Yet, an 18-wheeler can do an immense amount of damage to other people and property. The braking system must be kept well maintained so that drivers have the best chance of stopping quickly in an emergency.
Depending on who owns the truck, maintenance may come down to the driver or the trucking company. The service garage could also be at fault if it does a sloppy job. While all three categories of people are under pressure to keep the vehicles on the road, making time for regular maintenance is vital.
If a truck crashes into you, it will almost certainly leave you with severe injuries. Understanding what contributed to the collision is critical to getting the compensation you need.