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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Trucking News: NTSB Pushing For Blind Spot Systems, Trailer Guards And Better Data Collection

Overdrive Online posted new regulations the National Transportation Safety Board is pushing to have in place for new trucks. The NTSB is recommending that regulations be put in place to require new trucks to be equipped with systems to boost blind spot awareness, side and rear underride guards, and to require that better data be collected on trailers involved in crashes.

The NTSB made these recommendations last week to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a letter from outgoing NTSB Chair Debora Hersman, who requested NHTSA respond within 90 days:


  • To prevent accidents cause by blind spots - particularly those involving what NTSB calls "vulnerable road users," pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists - NTSB recommends that tractor-trailers with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds "be equipped with visibility enhancement systems."
  • To protect passenger car drivers in the event of side impact - which NTSB says made up 15% of fatal two-vehicle crashes between a truck and a passenger car in 2011 - NTSB recommends that NHTSA require new trailers to be equipped with "side underride protections systems" like guards to prevent "intrusion" into passenger vehicles from trailers. NTSB also recommends similar guards be required for trailer rears.
  • Lastly, NTSB made three recommendations about collection of trailer data:
             1) NHTSA add trailer VIN and model year to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System database
             2) Add a field to include trailer license plate numbers in the next edition of the Model Minimum                                                      Uniform Crash Criteria guideline
             3) Add a field to include trailer VIN numbers in the next edition of the Model Minimum Uniform                                                      Crash Criteria Guideline.

The NTSB's recommendations are designed to prevent accidents and save lives. You can view the entire report sent by NTSB Chair Debora Hersman with detailed information about each recommendation.

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