Flashing Lights Help Reduce Truck Accidents

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According to Commercial Carrier Journal, a trucking company in Oklahoma was experiencing too many problems with other vehicles rear-ending its trucks, leading to large expenses and immense danger. The trucking company took it upon itself to innovate a flashing-light safety mechanism that considerably reduced these life-threatening accidents.

A Note about Semi Trucks

Semis are massive machines that are many, many times larger than the vehicles we drive. As a result, these trucks require longer stopping distances and more time to slow down on the road. When you tailgate a semi, you put yourself and others on the road in grave danger of a serious rear-end accident occurring. The trucker ahead of you may need to slow down suddenly, and if you are driving too close to his or her backend, you may not have enough warning to slow your own vehicle in response safely.

The Trucking Company’s Approach

The Oklahoma trucking company in question runs a hazmat tanker fleet, making any ensuing accidents that much more dangerous. The trucking company experienced a concerning number of rear-end accidents with its tankers and determined that the best preventative approach was to increase the visibility of the trucks themselves. Towards this end, the company sought ways to grab the attention of motorists approaching from the rear quickly and landed on lights with all the following attributes:

  • Brake-activated
  • Amber
  • Pulsating

These lights are in addition to the truck’s red steady-burning brake lights, and they are located in a strip across the upper center portion of each truck’s backend. The company’s position (which it says is backed up by studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) is that these pulsating brake lights grab other motorists’ attention more quickly and alert them to impending risk.

The Results Are In

The Oklahoma company put the brake-activated lights on almost half of its fleet of 1,440 trailers and then proceeded to conduct its own study. The number of rear-end accidents for those trucks with the enhanced brake lights was almost 34 percent lower than the number for the trucks that did not have the lights installed.

Exception to the Rule

The Oklahoma company had to get a temporary exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to install its pulsating brake lights. Currently, FMCSA only allows rear blinking lights (other than turn signals) on select vehicles such as emergency vehicles, semis with oversized loads, and school buses. While the Oklahoma trucking company has since outfitted its entire fleet with the pulsating amber lights, other trucking companies will have to wait for FMCSA’s rules to evolve.

It Is Time to Consult with an Experienced Killeen Personal Injury Attorney

If a driver’s negligence leaves you injured in a truck accident, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a dedicated personal injury attorney with impressive experience helping clients like you obtain the compensation to which they are entitled. To learn more, please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.
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