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More can be done to prevent serious truck accidents

When traveling on the highway, it's not uncommon to see a large tractor-trailer hauling cargo. Even veteran drivers can feel intimidated by the hulking size of a semi truck passing by. However, drivers expect that truckers will act carefully and all safety precautions have been taken prior to hitting the road. In reality, this is not always the case.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration works to develop and enforce a variety of safety regulations that interstate truckers and their employers must follow. Not long ago, a different federal agency, the National Transportation Safety Board, suggested safety rules based on a study that was conducted last year.

In an article posted on our firm's website, we discussed the critical role that trucking companies and individual truck drivers play in promoting safety on the road. After all, safety regulations cannot be effective without compliance. As the NTSB's suggestions gain the attention of officials at the NHTSA, it will be important to ensure that any updates to regulations are recognized and followed in a timely manner.

In total, there were seven rules suggested for adoption. They address the following areas of truck safety:

  • Blind spots: Truck drivers don't have 360-degree visibility around their vehicles. As such, measures can be taken to reduce the size of these blind-spot zones in order to protect nearby motorists, bikers and pedestrians.
  • Vehicle underride: Motorists and their passengers are subject to serious or fatal injuries if their vehicles slip underneath a truck's trailer. The suggested rules include updates to rear underride guard requirements and expand existing regulations to include side underride guards.
  • Trailer identification: Current rules don't require law enforcement officials to gather information about the trailers involved in an accident, even if a motorist collided with the trailer as opposed to the truck itself.

Even though everyone on the road plays a role in maintaining traffic safety, these suggested safety regulations highlight the responsibility surrounding large commercial trucks. Federal regulations exist for a very good reason and willfully ignoring them puts other people in serious danger.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board, "NTSB Issues Recommendations to Correct Safety Vulnerabilities Involving Tractor-Trailers," April 3, 2014

Philpot Law Firm, PA
115 Broadus Ave.
Greenville, SC 29601

Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Phone: 864-990-0226
Phone: 864-990-0226
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