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Safety standards for commercial vehicle braking systems

South Carolina residents may be aware that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency tasked with reducing the number of road users who are each year killed or injured in accidents involving commercial vehicles. Passenger vehicle drivers often give semi-tractor trailers and buses a wide berth. These vehicles are large, heavy and difficult to control in emergency situations, and their sophisticated braking systems may be the difference between a near miss and a tragedy.

The safety standards enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are known as Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and there are several that apply to bus and truck braking systems. While most commercial vehicles rely on powerful air brakes to provide their stopping power, some lighter trucks are equipped with the same type of hydraulic braking systems found on passenger cars and sports utility vehicles. The FMVSS governing air braking systems went into effect in 1972, and the standard for hydraulic brakes was introduced in 1983.

There are also standards for vacuum and electric braking systems as well as rules for parking and emergency brakes. Some commercial vehicles have interconnected braking systems, and the rules require that truck or bus brakes still be able to bring the vehicle to a halt and hold it in place even if one of these interconnected systems were to fail.

While many lawsuits seeking compensation for injuries suffered in a truck accident are brought against impaired, distracted or fatigued truck drivers, personal injury attorneys may pursue civil remedies against the companies that own and operate trucks in certain situations. Trucking companies could be sued in situations where an accident is caused by substandard or defective components or inadequate maintenance. Truck operators are also expected to ensure that their drivers are sufficiently trained and rested before they get behind the wheel.

Philpot Law Firm, PA
115 Broadus Ave.
Greenville, SC 29601

Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Phone: 864-990-0226
Phone: 864-990-0226
Fax: 864-242-1566
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