Since 1998, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has been conducting an annual Brake Safety Week, performing brake system inspections on large trucks and buses throughout North America.

The Agency also conducts an Unannounced Brake Inspection Day earlier in the year, emphasizing the importance of paying attention to brake system maintenance.

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The Brake Check one-day event, a part of the CVSA Operation Airbrake program, was held on May 4th this year and the results from the 6,128 commercial vehicles inspected in the U.S. and Canada have been released.

Overall, 12.4% of the total number of vehicles inspected were placed out-of-service because of brake violations. According to CVSA, brake-related violations are typically the main reason vehicles are placed of out-of-service.

Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems pose a serious risk to driver and public safety because of the reduced braking capacity and increased stopping distances for trucks and buses. Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) were also a focus of the inspections.

Most vehicles were equipped with ABS but some had fault codes or non-functioning ABS lamps, and trailers requiring ABS were twice as likely to exhibit ABS violations as straight trucks. All but three of the buses inspected during the event were equipped with ABS and none had ABS-related violations.

Brake Safety Week this year will be conducted September 11 – 17. Inspectors will be looking for out-of-adjustment brakes and brake systems, and anti-lock braking system violations throughout the week.