With an average of 500,000 commercial truck accidents occurring each year in the U.S., the National Traffic Safety Board recently issued a number of safety recommendations which they believe will help reduce injuries and in car/truck accidents.
The safety recommendations are based on tractor-trailer accident studies conducted on behalf of the NTSB, recommending blind spot mirrors and side under-ride guards that safety group believes will make the roads safer for passenger vehicle motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.
The NTSB found that fatality rates for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycle are at a significantly higher risk than passenger vehicle motorists. Data shows that 158 pedestrians/ bicyclists and 119 motorcyclists are killed per 1,000 truck accidents, compared to 2 passenger vehicle deaths per 1,000 accidents.
Blind spots are a particularly big danger for passenger vehicle motorists causing 20 percent of side-impact truck accidents. The NTSB studies found that limited field of vision significantly contributes to accidents where tractor-trailer drivers change lanes, make turns, go straight, or back up. The NTSB is recommending commercial truck companies and independent truck owners to install blind spot mirrors on their vehicles to improve truck driver’s field of vision.
The NTSB study found side-impact tractor-trailer accidents contribute to approximately 500 passenger vehicle motorist deaths each year. The safety board also is recommending side under-ride guards on newly manufactured trailers that would prevent many crash-related deaths and injuries each year. Under current federal regulations, tractor-trailers are required to have rear under-ride guards, but there is no requirement to have guards installed along the side of a trailer.
The NTSB is also recommending improving accident reporting by law enforcement. When law enforcement investigates an accident they typically record the make and model of the tractor, but not about the trailer. The agency believes having more information about the trailer model will help prevent future accident injuries and fatalities.
Adapting the NTSB’s recommendations can help prevent thousands of unnecessary deaths and injuries. Safety measures go a long way to assure all motorists are protected from harm but it can’t protect every motorist from careless truck drivers or companies that fail to maintain their equipment.
We Can Help
The experienced attorneys at Charles G. Monnett III & Associates provide a free initial consultation, support, and assistance in finding resources to help you and your family deal with catastrophic injuries or death caused in a truck accident. We can also help you pursue legal action.