NTSB’s New Tractor Trailer Safety Recommendations

The National Transportation Safety Board has released several new safety recommendations to the National Highway Safety Administration.  The proposed regulations involve shrinking tractor trailer’s blind spots, preventing underriding, and preserving data from tractor trailer accidents.

The NTSB has encouraged new trucks with gross vehicle weight ratings of 26,000 pounds to use one of the many effective systems that enhance visibility.  Visibility issues and blind spots are a major factor in fatal collisions between semi-trucks and pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers.  Devices and systems that truck drivers are encourage to utilize include upgraded mirrors, sensors that monitor blind spots that can be used with automatic braking, and rear and side view cameras with monitor for better visibility.

Underriding is a term used to describe accidents between tractor trailers and cars that result in the car going underneath the tractor trailer.  Head injuries are the most common types of injuries that result from these type of collisions and these injuries are often fatal.  Both side and rear underride guards have been tested in Europe and the United States and have had encouraging results.  The NTSB has determined that using guards that prevent vehicles from sliding underneath tractor trailers reduces injuries and deaths of drivers and their passengers.

Finally, the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that police officers record more pertinent information in accident reports of collisions involving semi trucks.  Updated accident report forms would ideally include space to record the vehicle identification number (VIN) or the license plate numbers of both cabs and trailers involved in motor vehicle accidents.  The data collected by police officers and other emergency personnel is essential in preventing future accidents and in keeping our highways more safe for all drivers.

Read the full report from the NTSB here:  http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2014/H-14-001-007.pdf

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident or an accident involving a tractor trailer we are available to speak to you about your claim, tel.:  770-284-3737.

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