As motorists in Mississippi navigate traffic, they rely on their brakes to stay safe. Failing brakes, especially in commercial trucks and buses, represent a serious safety hazard. That’s why the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance schedules annual inspection sprees of trucks and buses. The alliance’s upcoming event, Brake Safety Week, is scheduled for Sept. 16-22.

Enforcement actions like these promote public safety. The Large Truck Crash Causation study prepared by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration noted that 32.7 percent of large trucks involved in crashes had brake violations before the crash. The study included an analysis of truck accidents in which brakes were an important factor. In this category of accidents, 45.5 percent of trucks had brake violations.

During Brake Safety Day in 2017, inspectors identified brake problems in 14 percent of all vehicles examined. During the week-long inspection this year, inspectors will put vehicles and drivers through a 37-step inspection. Inspectors will look for inaccurate brake adjustments, loose or missing parts and fluid leaks. Problem vehicles will be taken out of service for repairs.

Victims of truck wrecks sometimes experience serious and disabling injuries. Trucking companies and their insurers might try to limit settlements to victims by ignoring maintenance records or other regulatory violations. However, an attorney might take action to hold the responsible parties accountable by gathering evidence from maintenance logs, hours-of-service records and police accident reports. An independent accident reconstruction specialist might be brought in to provide testimony. To pursue adequate compensation for medical bills and lost income, a lawyer could file a lawsuit and engage the insurer in pretrial negotiations. When necessary, an attorney could present the case in court and strive to win a jury award.