Omnitracs' Road Ahead blog

Pump the brakes on these habits in time for Brake Safety Week

Michael Ahart
Michael Ahart
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs

You can never be too careful with brake safety.

This sentiment may sound theatrical; however, reliable and working brakes save countless lives every day.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Association (CVSA) is dedicating August 22-28 for their annual Brake Safety Week initiative. During this time, inspectors will check and remove commercial vehicles with brake-related out-of-service violations from North American roadways. Inspectors will conduct North American Standard Inspections on the vehicles and focus on brake systems and components. During the week, the inspectors will collect data on brake hoses and tubing — the two top focus areas throughout this year's initiative.

We all may be susceptible to hazardous habits at times. Prioritizing brake safety is no different. You can replace three dangerous habits with safer ones, ensuring drivers are prepared and protected.

Habit #1: Not prioritizing education

In the aftermath of International Roadcheck 2020, the CVSA concluded brake violations were the top vehicle violation. Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) cited brake systems as the third most common vehicle-related factor in fatal commercial and passenger vehicle crashes.

Fleet leaders who don't prioritize industry intelligence may be missing out on these eye-opening figures, thereby relying on a false sense of security that their brakes are most likely more than sufficient. In reality, brake issues are far more common, and we have the reports, data, and historical background to back that up.

Habit #2: Excluding fleet intelligence

Today's technology is a game-changer for your fleet's safety culture. When you combine technology with dedicated training, your teams are empowered on all fronts — from knowing what to do to having the technology tools to execute.

Train teams on proper pre- and post-trip inspection processes, so drivers understand how to perform required daily vehicle inspections and why they’re critical to vehicle safety knowledge, including brake safety. Then, you can utilize an enhanced driver and vehicle inspection reporting solution to enable drivers to document a vehicle’s operating condition in real time.

Habit #3: Delaying until it's too late  

Fleet operations are understandably fast-paced and cater to various time-consuming responsibilities. Still, waiting until the last minute to concentrate on Brake Safety Week preparedness efforts doesn't give you or your teams time to plan. Instead, delaying will likely leave your brake safety focus on the backburner.

Prioritize training, education, and a well-rounded safety culture so that drivers and back-office team members are well-prepared for Brake Safety Week and driver and vehicle safety throughout the year. You can plan to also proactively check and service your vehicle for any potential issues before they lead to costly violations that could set your business goals behind.

Break a leg this Brake Safety Week! Read my article from last year's initiative to prepare your fleet further.