CVSA forms strategic alliance to enhance CMV safety

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The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, in association with Zurich Services Corp. and Interactive Driving Systems, has completed the development of an online airbrake training program designed to enhance commercial motor vehicle safety across North America.

The online training program, called “Virtual Risk Manager – Airbrakes,” responds to the recommendations identified in a March 2006 U.S. government study that found brake deficiencies are a factor in nearly 30 percent of all serious truck crashes that involve a fatality or injury. According to CVSA, the findings show that brake training is essential to increase drivers, mechanics and roadside safety enforcement officers’ knowledge of airbrake systems.

“Drivers, inspectors and mechanics require reliable and readily available information to assist in developing proficiency and skills,” says Collin Mooney, CVSA’s director of enforcement programs. “When it comes to these systems, we need to increase awareness of the unique and special characteristics of airbrake systems.”

The online training program leverages the use of multimedia technology to help drivers, mechanics and safety enforcement officers understand the workings of airbrake systems. The program delivers virtual training based on recognized sources from industry experts, and contains the recommendations made in the February 2006 National Transportation Safety Board report on the adjustment of automatic slack adjusters.

The program is an interactive experience with instructional animations and a narrator to guide users through the program. At every step throughout the program, users will have access to interactive exercises to help them master the concepts and practicalities of working with airbrake technology.

The program is structured to cater to all levels of experience and education. Users begin with a “Training Needs Analysis” designed to identify strengths and weaknesses in the users’ knowledge. As a result, individual training programs are assembled automatically to help the user focus on their weaknesses before taking the final assessment.

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In the final assessment, every user takes a 50-question knowledge check that confirms their mastery of the entire subject and generates a certificate of completion for their employers’ training records. Additionally, individual users also will receive a full-color presentation certificate and a glove box resource guide to better ensure they have key information available to them away from the computer, including CVSA guidance on what to expect during a roadside inspection.

“We are very pleased to work with CVSA and Interactive Driving Systems to make available training that we hope will reduce serious truck accidents,” says Armand Fernandez, vice president of Zurich Services Corp. “We are always looking for opportunities to proactively stop accidents from occurring in the first place.”

“A huge amount of work has gone into creating ‘Virtual Risk Manager – Airbrakes’ that takes full advantage of the technology available to us today,” says Ed Dubens of Interactive Driving Systems. “Every user of this program has an opportunity to create their own training course targeted toward their individual strengths and weaknesses.”

For more information, go to and enjoy free access to the Airbrake Challenge to determine if your drivers, mechanics or enforcement officers would benefit from the program.