NTSB Recommends Seven Items on Truck Safety

June 19, 2014

Trucker Safety

Earlier this year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) forwarded seven recommended truck safety standards to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Designed to address tractor-trailer safety issues, the agency's recommendations ranged from making major design changes to tractor-trailer bodies to implementing minor information collection adjustments to truck accident reports.

Focus of Recommendations

The NTSB's recommendations focused not only on truck driver safety but on the safety of other motorists and pedestrians that come in contact with heavy-haul trucks.

Two safety issues received special attention:

  • Underride events that occur when a car goes under a trailer. According to NTSB studies, vehicle collisions with the sides of trailers account for about 500 deaths a year. The NTSB also expressed concern about the effectiveness of rear trailer guard regulations.
  • Pedestrian accidents at stoplights. According to NTSB studies, when truckers pull away from a stoplight, more than half fail to realize they have hit a pedestrian until alerted by other motorists or bystanders.

Recommended Truck Safety Standards

We've provided a list of the NTSB's seven safety recommendations below. Click here to read the full report.

  • Blind spots should be addressed to increase the ability of truck drivers to detect pedestrians, motorcyclists and bike riders.
  • Tractor-trailers should be redesigned and after-market solutions should be made available to prevent cars from riding under the sides or rear ends of single-unit trucks.
  • The presence of single-unit trucks should be more visible to other drivers.
  • Truck accident data collection and information sharing on federal and state databases should be improved.
  • Accurate truck accident fatality databases, including database links to hospital records and police reports, should be maintained and shared.
  • Incidents of truck drivers operating without a valid license should be tracked and studied to determine frequency and consequences.
  • The possible benefits of extending the commercial driver's license requirement to lower-weight truck classes should be explored.

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