|NTSB Issues Recommendations to Correct Safety Vulnerabilities Involving Tractor-Trailers
April 3, 2014
- The National Transportation Safety Board today issued seven
recommendations urging the National Highway Safety Administration to
take action to improve the safety of tractor-trailers. These
recommendations stem from a 2013 NTSB safety study on single-unit trucks and other research, which identified issues that apply to tractor-trailers as well.
of large trucks travel our roadways every day, transporting goods and
keeping the American economy moving," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P.
Hersman. "But research shows that eliminating blind spots and underride
events would reduce fatalities and injuries involving other road users."
large single-unit trucks, tractor-trailers may have blind spots that
can reduce the ability of drivers to see other vehicles and road users.
Researchers found that limited field of view can increase the risk of
death or injury among passenger vehicle occupants, pedestrians,
bicyclists, and motorcyclists when drivers of tractor-trailers change
lanes, make turns, go straight, or back up.
with the sides of tractor-trailers resulted in about 500 deaths each
year and that many of these deaths involved side underride. Researchers
also found that current trailer rear underride guard standards are
outdated. The recommendations call on NHTSA to require that both newly
manufactured truck-tractors and trailers be equipped with side underride
protection systems, and that revisions be made to improve trailer rear
underride guard standards to better protect passenger vehicle occupants
from fatalities and serious injuries.
the NTSB asked NHTSA to address the issue of data collection on
trailers. When a tractor-trailer gets into an accident, police officers
routinely record basic information about the truck-tractor component of
the tractor-trailer, including the model year and vehicle identification
number. However, information about the trailer component is usually
missing from federal and state databases. Having this information could
help with evaluation of safety standards and determine whether certain
trailer designs and equipment should be altered to reduce injury risks
to passenger vehicle occupants. Therefore, the NTSB recommends that
NHTSA add information on trailer model year and trailer vehicle
identification numbers to its national database of fatal crashes and
encourage states to add trailer information to their crash databases.
The complete safety recommendation letter to NHTSA is available at: http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2014/H-14-001-007.pdf