CHICAGO, Illinois. Studies have shown that the annoying beeping noise made by large trucks when backing up may not be as effective as previously thought. Why? According to Salon, city dwellers become accustomed to the beeping noise and may not pay attention to it when walking.

The Occupational Safety and Health Association requires that trucks with obstructed rear views be equipped with either a noise warning system or, if no noise warning system is available, an observer must signal to the driver when it is safe to back up. Because the rear of a truck is a blind spot for most truck drivers, most trucks come equipped with the ubiquitous beeping system that has been known to awaken many a city dweller on the weekend.

New technology may make the beeping a thing of the past. Back up cameras on newer trucks eliminate the alarm requirement. In fact, given that people become desensitized to the beeping, it may be safer for trucks to not have the alarms, but instead either come equipped with cameras or require that an observer be present whenever a truck driver needs to back up in the city.

In fact, alarm systems have become the number one reason why people make noise complaints in cities. Rather than keeping people safe, the alarms seem to just be keeping people awake. Another study found that workers may suffer hearing loss as a result of the decibel levels of these alarm systems. Alarms on sanitation trucks are designed to keep workers safe, but workers may be so accustomed to the alarm that they simply don’t hear the noise when their life depends on it. Worse, because of interference with sound waves, the beeping may actually not be very loud right behind the truck where the alarm is needed the most. In fact, the noise is most audible further away, where it is more likely to be a nuisance than a help. Salon reports that 45% of accidents took place when an alarm was beeping. Some firms have developed white noise alarms that can only be heard when a person is right behind or near a truck.

Alarms may have other unintentional consequences. Drivers may think that because they can hear the alarm, that it is safe to back up. They may back up further than they need to or faster than they should.

At the end of the day, truck alarms may be much more than just a bother—they may be an active safety hazard. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a backing up truck, consider speaking to the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. Our Chicago, Illinois truck accident lawyers can review the circumstances of your case and fight to help you receive the recovery you may deserve under the law. Truck accidents can be especially devastating to victims and their families. The Chicago, Illinois truck accident lawyers at the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. are here for you.

Citations:

https://www.salon.com/2013/10/16/the_beep_thats_driving_me_insane/

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=27308