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Truckers in West Virginia probably know that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds various inspection sprees throughout the year in the effort to enforce federal trucking regulations. If truckers do not follow these regulations, they only put themselves and others at risk because a poorly maintained truck will not prevent crashes as well or protect occupants in the event of a crash.

The next inspection spree that the CVSA has planned is Brake Safety Week. From September 15 to 21, inspectors in both the U.S. and Canada will be stopping CMVs at random and inspecting the brake systems. Brake Safety Weeks usually have a special focus, and this one's will brake hoses and tubing. All too often, truckers are driving with leaking, damaged or improperly attached hoses and tubes.

In the 14 jurisdictions that use performance-based brake testers, inspectors will be measuring braking efficiency with this tool. For those trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating exceeding 10,000 pounds, the minimum braking efficiency must be 43.5%.

Lastly, not only truckers but also fleet owners and mechanics must be clear on the importance of brake safety. Law enforcement agencies will be raising awareness of this need: efforts that are integral to making Brake Safety Week a success.

There are many truckers who remain indifferent despite these efforts, but if they cause a truck crash through their own negligence, their company will likely have to face a claim. Victims, for their part, may want to retain legal counsel. The lawyer may determine if the case holds up under West Virginia's comparative negligence law, which states that plaintiffs can recover damages as long as they are less than 50% to blame for the crash. After having investigators gather proof against the defendant, the lawyer may negotiate for a settlement.

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