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How truckers and fleet owners can avoid brake issues

Truckers in California may have been pulled over for a brake inspection during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's Brake Safety Week, which took place in mid-September. Even if they were not, they will want to ensure that their brakes are compliant with federal guidelines. It all begins with a 10- to 15-minute inspection where drivers walk around their truck and physically check their equipment.

The CVSA has its own Brake Inspection Checklist, which truckers can follow. They can look for damaged or missing components, cracked brake pads, linings and drums and lobe wear on the camshaft. Truckers should also monitor tire pressure, as properly inflated tires will help in brake maintenance. When driving, they should be defensive; that way, they can avoid situations where harsh braking or cornering is necessary.

Fleet owners can monitor for unsafe driving behaviors like harsh braking thanks to their telematics data. To address such behaviors, which wear down the brakes, owners can set up training programs. With telematics devices, they can gather information on vehicle performance and equipment utilization.Drivers should be trained on the basics of visual tire and brake inspections. Preventive or predictive maintenance programs, along with the checking of meter readings, maintenance logs or historical records, can ensure brake maintenance on a regular basis.

Negligent truck maintenance could give truck accident victims the grounds to file a claim against the trucking company. Truck crashes often result in catastrophic injuries and create a need for long-term medical treatment, but victims can be covered for these expenses if their claim is successful. This is where a lawyer can come in and have third parties investigate the accident and gather evidence. The lawyer can then negotiate with the trucking company's insurer for a settlement.

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