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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - The Michigan State Police say a lot of commercial vehicles on the road right now shouldn't be, due to a surprising find.
Over the course of one week, state police stopped 1,300 vehicles. Of these vehicles, 40 percent received citations and 130 were taken off the roads. That's right at about 10 percent. The majority of the problems were the air brakes, many were out of adjustment.
In one week over the summer, here were 17 crashed on I-94. According to Michigan State Sergeant Brett Black, in many of thsoe accidents stopping distance was a factor.
"When you consider a normal truck driving down the road at 60 miles an hour, and a normal car driving down the road at 60 miles an hour. It takes that truck twice as long to stop if everything's working perfectly," said Sgt. Brett Black, Motor Carrier Division, Michigan State Police.
During the brake safety week, MSP Officers checked over 10,000 brakes, just five percent needed adjusting. When you think about it in terms of number, it's not bad. But Director of Jimmie's Towing Rick Olney says if the brakes aren't adjusted properly, there's only one person to blame. Olney says before hitting the road, truck drivers are supposed to check brakes among other things. He says if the air brakes aren't up to speed, "the truck will slow down nice, but in the event of an emergency, it's just going to slow down nice. It's not going to stop.
Both Sgt. Black and Olney say it's a catch-22 for drivers who are paid to drive the truck. "The truck driver may report it to the company, which there's a form on its daily log to complete. And the company may say drive it or hit the road.," said Rick Olney, Director, Jimmie's Towing.
Just because brakes are in perfect condition, dosen't guarantee there won't be an accident. So, Sgt. Black says checking them is just one more safety precaution. "If all the 10 or 22 or however many brakes there are aren't working, there's no way. It's just not going to happen."
The State Police say stopping distance matters for every car on the road. So it's important that you keep your distance from trucks to allow enough stopping room in order to prevent any accidents.
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