Although commercial vehicle driver assistance technologies are more advanced and effective than ever, highway safety remains dependent on proper maintenance of components and systems at all levels. Bendix points to the results of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2016 Brake Safety Week inspection program as an important reminder of the impact that upkeep of antilock braking systems (ABS) and other foundational components can have on safe and legal vehicle operation.
Part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake, Brake Safety Week is an annual outreach and enforcement campaign designed to improve commercial motor vehicle brake safety. Brake Safety Week 2016, held in September, resulted in more than 18,300 inspections, conducted by local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal motor carrier safety officials in the United States and Canada. This year’s inspections included an emphasis on ABS: Results showed 8.8 percent of air-braked trucks requiring ABS and 15.8 percent of trailers requiring ABS were found to have brake violations.
“Optimal performance of a vehicle’s safety components and systems requires attention to the individual parts in order to achieve the best results of the collective whole,” explained Fred Andersky, Bendix director of government and industry affairs. “In much the same way that good brakes can only do so much if they’re paired with bald tires, the performance of advanced technologies like full stability and collision mitigation is impacted by care of the ABS and brakes.”
This also means that Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores can be strengthened through the right training and maintenance programs. Properly maintained base components – tires, brakes, ABS – can contribute to better CSA scoring, as will their role in keeping more advanced systems operating to their full potential.
“As a supporter of Brake Safety Week and other CVSA programs, all of us at Bendix recognize that information, training, and education are the most valuable tools the industry can equip in pursuit of safer roads,” Andersky said. “We encourage everyone – from owner operators and fleets, to drivers, technicians, and safety managers – to take advantage of the resources that suppliers and manufacturers make available, including service data sheets, online courses and technical discussions, and on-call advice teams. Working together, and with so much incredible know-how at the ready, we can make a real difference in highway safety.”