Groendyke Transport, an Oklahoma-based trucking company, found a creative way to improve safety for its truckers and everyone around them on the road. The safety solution came about when the company noticed a serious issue with its trucks getting rear-ended. Whether the truckers had to make sudden stops or other drivers were tailgating, these wrecks were causing significant damage and injuries.
The company decided to do something about it. It installed $150 rear-facing blinking lights on some of its trucks. It then kept track of the change in crash numbers over a period of 31 months. The company was amazed by the results. During the test period, it saw an almost 34 percent drop in rear-end collisions. Plus, the company did not have any rear-end accidents at railroad crossings.
How Do Blinking Lights Improve Truck Driver Safety?
The trucking company considered a number of variables in deciding what kind of lights would work best in improving trucker safety. It decided to use blinking lights instead of a constant light because “they were unique enough that they got people’s attention,” according to Brian Gigoux, vice president of equipment and maintenance at Groendyke Transport.
Additionally, the company chose amber-colored lights because of the message this color would communicate to other drivers. “We associate amber or yellow with hazard or warning,” explained Ryan Pietzsch, driver safety education expert for the National Safety Council.
The company’s test was so successful that it is starting to use these brake-activated lights on its entire fleet. Other trucking companies are also showing interest in using this safety solution.
Unfortunately, these rear-facing blinking lights currently violate the rules of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA only allows special vehicles like school buses, emergency vehicles, or trucks with oversized loads to have blinking lights other than turn signals on the back.
While Groendyke was able to get a temporary exception from the FMCSA to use these lights, other companies don’t have the right to use them. The National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) organization is currently appealing to the FMCSA to change its rules and allow all trucks to use these safety devices.
Hurt in a Truck Accident? Talk to a Lawyer Now
Were you hurt in an accident with an 18-wheeler or another commercial vehicle? The experienced Texas truck accident attorneys at Tate Law Offices can help you fight for the justice you deserve. To speak with an attorney, contact us today for your free case review.