Syracuse, NY- With an average of 500,000 commercial truck accidents occurring each year in the U.S., the National Traffic Safety Board issued a number of safety recommendations Thursday which they believe will help reduce injuries and deaths of passenger vehicle motorists.
The safety recommendations are based on tractor-trailer accident studies conducted on behalf of the NTSB. The federal agency had several recommendations but urged he National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Blind spot mirrors and side underride guards were among the several recommendations the safety group believes will make the roads for passenger vehicle motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
Tractor-trailers and commercial trucks like most vehicles have a blind spot which the NTSB report says contributes to a large number of deaths for “vulnerable road users.” Vulnerable road users are pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists which don’t have protective outer metal shell to mitigate the impact of a crash with truck or other vehicle.
The NTSB found that fatality rates for vulnerable road users that are involved in commercial truck accidents are significantly higher 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 also a danger for passenger vehicle motorists, and cause 20 percent of side-impact truck accidents. The NTSB studies found that the limited field of vision contributes to collisions when drivers of tractor-trailers change lanes, make turns, go straight, or back up. Therefore the NTSB recommends that commercial truck companies and independent truck owners install blind spot mirrors on their vehicle to improve a driver’s field of vision.
The NTSB study found side impact tractor-trailer accidents contribute to approximately 500 passenger vehicle motorist deaths each year. So in addition to utilizing blind spot mirrors, the safety board believes side underride guards would prevent many unnecessary deaths and injuries.
Under current federal regulations, tractor-trailers are required to have rear underride guards, but there is no requirement to have guards installed along the side of a trailer. Now the NTSB is encouraging the NHTSA to pass similar rules, making side underride guards mandatory on newly manufactured trucks and improve the standards for rear underride guards on currently operating tractor-trailers.
Another thing the NTSB recommends is improving accident reporting on behalf of 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.
Syracuse truck accident victims who are harmed because of driver’s or truck company’s negligence can turn to the truck accident attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Law Firm for help with their personal injury of wrongful death claims.