NTSB Recommends New Truck Safety Standards


The National Transpiration Safety Board has provided new recommendations to urge the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to take action regarding truck safety on the roads. Due to the large size, weight and fast speeds at which 18 wheelers and other commercial trucks travel, any accident with smaller passenger vehicles or motorcycles can result in incapacitating injuries and even death.

The new truck safety recommendations, which are to help prevent underriding accidents, were released in April and address four main topics. The safety areas the recommendations aim to help include:

  • The mitigation of blind spots to protect passenger vehicle occupants, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists from being struck when large trucks fail to detect them.
  • Protection of passenger vehicle occupants from injury due to underriding the sides of semi-trailer trucks.
  • Protection of passenger vehicle occupants from injury as the result of underriding the rear of semi-trailer trucks.
  • Improvement of traffic safety data regarding trailers involved in accidents.
    • Semi-trailer Blind Spot Mitigation

      Blind sports around semi-trailer trucks can cause serious accidents with passenger vehicles on Connecticut highways because the drivers of the large trucks cannot see them. Blinds spots for a semi-trailer trucks are on the front, sides and rear. There are countermeasures that can address safety issues regarding blind spots on semi-trailer trucks, such as enhanced mirror systems. Right fender mirrors in particular are designed to help mitigate the dangerous blind spot located on the right side of a truck.

      Additionally, technology to alert truck drivers about other passenger vehicles in their blind sports are said to help prevent accidents. These side view assistance systems have sensors and use an audio alert to let the driver know if there is someone in their blind spot when they are switching lanes.

      The NTSB recommends that the NHTSA require all newly manufactured semi-trailer trucks with over 26,000 pounds to be equipped with these sensor systems in order to improve the ability of truck drivers to detect other passenger vehicles in their blind spots.

      Large Truck Side Impact Safety

      The NHSTA has reported that large truck side impact accidents made up 15% of fatal two-vehicle accidents between large trucks and passenger vehicles in 2011. Side underride accidents are very dangerous as seat belts cannot always prevent injuries in these types of collisions and airbags are not always deployed.

      The NTSB recommends that passenger vehicle occupant deaths and injuries resulting from side underride collisions with semi-trailer trucks could be reduced by side underride protection systems. These systems are in the form of a side underride guard that prevents passenger vehicles from sliding underneath large trucks.

      Truck Rear Impact Accidents

      The NHSTA also found that rear impact collisions involved 19% of fatal two-vehicle collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles in 2011. Similar to side underride protection systems, the NTSB recommends that rear underride protection systems should be in place to help prevent and reduce the severity of injuries or even death in these types of accidents.

      Improvement of Crash Data for Truck Accidents

      The collection of accurate data is crucial for the evaluation of safety and design regulations for large trucks. There are currently many deficiencies in the data collected. Unfortunately, police reports for incidents involving semi-trailer trucks provide less information than for other types of motor vehicle accidents. Not all police forms require that the truck’s vehicle information number or VIN be filled out. A VIN can be broken down to determine the trailer manufacturer, model year and other important vehicle information.

      Collecting all of the necessary data when a Connecticut truck accident occurs is achievable and would improve the government and safety industry’s ability to evaluate large truck designs and the impact they have on road safety.

      Connecticut Truck Safety Inspection

      The state of Connecticut launched their own 72-hour truck safety program last year in June called Roadcheck 2013, which aimed to crackdown on unsafe drivers and help prevent Connecticut truck accidents. Authorities conducted road patrols and spot checks along all of the Connecticut’s major highways. The Connecticut truck safety campaign was run by the Connecticut DMV, and sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and their partners.

      At the conclusion of the 2013 campaign, authorities found 2,140 violations from checking large trucks, buses and their drivers. 146 of the violations were severe enough to deem the vehicle out of service. Last year 112 of these vehicles were removed from service.

      The major safety issues found during Roadcheck 2013 included faulty brakes, cracked frames, improper securing of cargo, lighting, suspension systems and tires. In all, 66 drivers were forced off the road for various violations including driving without a proper license for their vehicle, doctored logbooks and too many hours on the road.

      Westport Connecticut Truck Accident Lawyer

      While there are many cautious professional truck drivers on the roads, this is not always the case. Some truck drivers don’t have the proper training or safety systems in place to help prevent dangerous truck accidents on Connecticut highways.

      Individuals who are affected by trucking accidents usually do not know that a quick response is crucial to their case. Insurance company representatives and attorneys who represent major trucking carriers will immediately begin preparing their case. Experienced legal guidance can help ensure your rights are fully protected and that you take the necessary steps to preserve the accident scene.

      The Westport, CT law office of Richard Raphael conducts a thorough investigation in order to determine the exact cause of a Connecticut truck accident and identify all responsible parties. If you or a loved one has been involved in a Connecticut truck accident contact Westport personal injury attorney Richard Raphael today at 203-226-6168 or fill out the online contact form. .

  • American Bar Association
  • Connecticut Bar Association
9.4Richard H Raphael
Connecticut Distinguished Attorney

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