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Personal Injury Newsletter

Brake Safety and CMV Safety - A Necessary Combination

Because Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) are generally larger and thus potentially more dangerous than other vehicles, CMV brake safety is imperative. In 2003, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a new rule allowing for performance-based brake testing for CMVs, as opposed to the traditional method of visual inspection.

There are three types of vehicles that are considered CMVs: (1) A truck with a gross vehicle weight rating over 10,000 lbs; (2) a vehicle used to transport hazardous materials carrying a required quantity; and (3) a bus designed to transport more than fifteen people.

FMCSA Rule Permits Performance Brake-Testing
In the United States, thousands of fatalities annually are caused by CMV accidents. A variety of reasons have caused such accidents, such as brake failure.

In an attempt to increase safety, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) has created a pass/fail criteria for use with performance-based brake testers (PBBTs). PBBTs are a method of measuring the braking performance of CMVs in order to ensure compliance of braking capabilities with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

There are two methods by which PBBT measures the condition of brakes:

  1. Measuring brake forces at each wheel
  2. Measuring overall brake performance in controlled testing

The Goals for Performance Brake-Testing
Implementation of the performance based brake-testing rule is the pinnacle of research that began in the 1990s. PBBTs allow for more frequent and thorough testing of CMVs. The FMCSA hopes that the ability of the PBBT testing to systematically process more vehicles will prevent and lower the number of CMV-related accidents occurring each year. In 2008, the method was approved by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) for roadside enforcement, where trucks which fail testing may be immediately placed out-of-service until they are repaired.

  • Division of Personal Injury Awards During Divorce
    Upon termination of a marriage by divorce, one of the most difficult problems is often division of the couple’s real and personal property. Although there are considerable differences in the way states treat property acquired by... Read more.
  • FDA's Guidelines for Recalls
    When a product is defective or harmful to the public, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may order or request a recall of the product from the market. Sometimes, the manufacturers of defective products will voluntarily recall the... Read more.
  • Providing Notice for Medical Liens
    A person injured in an accident caused by the negligence or fault of another may eventually be able to recover damages from the person at fault. However, accident injuries usually require immediate treatment. If the injured party lacks... Read more.
  • Claims Procedure Under the Federal Tort Claims Act
    In most states, an individual who is injured by an employee’s negligent acts can generally sue the employer, if the negligent act was committed in the course of employment duties. Until 1946, however, “governmental... Read more.
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