Chances are very good that the last thing on your mind as you make your way on the highways throughout Tennessee is whether the big rig racing by in the left lane has undergone the necessary maintenance. You simply take it for a given that the trucking outfits for which the truckers work or the truckers themselves have fixed any mechanical issues that arose and taken the time to make sure everything is in proper working order.
Unfortunately, this is often not the case as many tractor trailers are not in proper working order and should likely be taken out of service by state officials until these glaring mechanical defects are fixed.
Interestingly, experts indicate that a mechanical issue for which many trucks are regularly removed from service and for which many more trucks should probably be sidelined is a defective air brake systems.
When air brake systems are not in proper working order, they greatly reduce the braking capacity of a truck and greatly increase the chance of a horrific truck accident. However, when they are adjusted properly and free from defects, experts indicate that they provide commercial vehicles with twice the braking capacity of standard passenger vehicles.
While this may seem rather unnerving, experts point out that many truck drivers actually know how to adjust the air brake systems using manual slack adjusters and inspect them for possible defects. Still, they indicate that despite this training, many truckers neglect to set aside just a few minutes to perform these necessary repairs or inspections.
Understanding just how much of a danger defective air brake systems can be, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has been sponsoring a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (Step) all this week called "Operation Air Brake."
Here, the stated objective of the initiative is to "reduce the number of highway crashes caused by faulty braking systems on commercial vehicles by conducting roadside inspections and educating drivers, mechanics and others on the importance of proper brake inspection, maintenance and operation."
Here's hoping that state inspectors, including right here in Tennessee, take note of this very serious issue and decide to take part in the initiative.
If the sheer devastation of a truck accident had caused you serious personal injuries or taken the life of a loved one, it's important to thoroughly examine your options and consider speaking with an experienced attorney dedicated to securing justice.
Source: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, "Operation Air Brake/Brake Safety Week," September 8-14, 2013