2023 Surprise Results During CVSA Brake Safety Week

2023 Surprise Results During CVSA Brake Safety Week

50% less vehicles placed OOS than last year because 50% less vehicles were inspected!

That’s right, inspectors in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. conducted 18,875 commercial motor vehicle inspections between Aug. 20-26 for the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Week. Last year they conducted 38,117 inspections.

If the goal of the annual brake safety week is to reduce the number of crashes caused by faulty braking systems on CMVs, then why was there half the number of inspections? Is vehicle maintenance less of a priority?

We may never know.

So, what did we learn from the event?

2023 CVSA Brake Safety Week Data

Like last year, nearly 13% of vehicles inspected were removed from roadways because inspectors discovered brake-related out-of-service violations.

That means 2,375 (12.6%) were removed from roadways in 2023 versus 4,664 (13.6%) placed out-of-service in 2022.

  • Mexico: Only 9 CMVs were inspected with one (11%) placed out-of-service for brake-related violations. Last year saw 1,740 CMVs inspected and 44 (2.5%) placed OOS.
  • Canada: There were 1,327 CMVs inspected with 134 (10%) placed out-of-service for brake-related violations. Last year saw 1,975 CMVs inspected and 351 (17.8%) placed OOS.
  • U.S.: There were 18,031 CMVs inspected with 2,240 (12.4%) placed out-of-service for brake-related violations. Last year saw 34,402 CMVs inspected and 4,664 (13.6%) placed OOS.

For the weeklong inspection and enforcement initiative, inspectors focused on the brake systems and components of CMVs and submitted brake-related data to the Alliance.

Some examples of brake-related OOS violations that automatically place the vehicle out-of-service include:

  • Broken brake drums
  • Loose air tanks
  • Corroded holes in a spring brake housing
  • Inoperative tractor protection valves, etc.

Service brake violations, such as cracked linings, brake adjustment or loose chambers, may combine to put the combination of vehicles OOS under the 20% brake criterion (of which 58.7% failed).

Certain service brake violations are automatically placed out of service when found on the steering axle (of which 12.4% failed).

Eleven states with performance-based brake testers (PBBT) participated in this year’s Brake Safety Week by conducting inspections using their PBBTs. A PBBT is a machine that assesses the braking performance of a vehicle.

Of the 397 PBBT inspections, there were 18 failures, which is a 4.5% out-of-service rate.

The focus area for this year’s Brake Safety Week was lining/pad violations where inspectors checked brake lining/pads for cracks, voids and contamination. They also looked for loose, missing or worn brake lining/pads.

Here are the results:

Lining/Pad Violations
Power Unit ViolationsTowed Unit ViolationsTotal %
Total Violations401281100%

Next year’s Brake Safety Week is scheduled for Aug. 25-31, 2024.

How can I prepare for future truck inspection of my brakes?

If you know your brake system, you are more likely to know if there is an issue.

You should know what size and type of air brake chamber you have and learn how to properly identify it.

Most air brake chambers will have a marking on them, letting you know what type and size it is. If you know the type of chamber you have, you will also be able to determine the maximum allowable push rod travel for that brake chamber and whether it is in or out of adjustment.

You should inspect your air brake system and all brake components regularly during your pre and post-trip inspection to keep your vehicle in safe operating condition.

The list below covers some items you can visually check on a regular basis to ensure they are securely attached, leak-free, and free of damage, such as corrosion and holes.

  • Air brake chamber
  • Brake hoses and tubing
  • Cotter pins
  • Clevis pins
  • Slack adjuster
  • Air lines

The CVSA has answered some frequently asked questions about your air brake system and inspection and have also provided an air brake inspection checklist, which is a great way to be sure you are prepared for your roadside safety inspection.

In addition to being prepared for a brake inspection, it is even more important to be prepared for a complete truck inspection.

Vehicles Maintenance

Vehicle maintenance costs can be a huge line item for fleet companies and at times, hard to keep under control. Routine maintenance of your vehicles is a necessity to ensure that your biggest assets always stay on the road.

An experienced and knowledgeable vehicle maintenance partner can make all the difference.

CNS can effectively manage your vehicle maintenance to meet your specific driving demands. We effortlessly handle an unlimited number of preventive maintenance schedules for all the vehicles in your fleet.

Serving your customers is your business; maintaining your fleet should be ours. Depend on CNS to keep your vehicles on the road and benefit from our expertise and gain a partnership that is dedicated to your success.

Questions about DOT Compliance, Licensing, Audits, Programs, etc.?

Our DOT Specialists are here to help!

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