In a letter addressed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s David Strickland, David Osiecki (Senior Vice President of the American Trucking Associations-ATA) and Todd Spencer (Executive Vice President of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association-OOIDA) addressed the need to conduct research on crashworthiness standards for heavy trucks.
Representing the ATA and OOIDA, Strickland and Spencer asked the NHTSA to research and analyze “how crashworthiness standards for the tractor/truck cabs of commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more could have safety benefits for professional truck drivers,” with a primary focus on safety systems used to prevent “roll over, ejection, fire and frontal impacts.”
The groups are concentrating on trucks with GVWR’s of 26,001 pounds and heavier since the NHTSA has already established ongoing crashworthiness standards for lighter vehicles.
The letter stems from continuous concern over the safety of drivers, with nearly 700 truck driver fatalities each year from 1998 to 2008, Strickland and Spencer note.
The groups believe that driver fatality, however, can be reduced by nearly 23% “if cab structural integrity can be improved sufficiently to prevent crushing in rollover,” which is the leading cause of 63% of injuries in accidents.
According to their letter, the groups suggest the following:
~A larger survival space in the cab
~Greater restraints, including seat belts and airbags
~Stronger doors and windows to prevent ejection along with padded surfaces within the cab
In closing, the groups “believe that improvements in truck occupant safety can be achieved” and so does Road Scholar Transport
That’s why Road Scholar Transport is installing adaptive cruise control on its tractor trailers which will maintain a pre-defined distance from upcoming vehicles, reducing the truck’s speed when closing in, and thus, preventing a rear-end collision. Now that’s safety. Check out more of Road Scholar’s technology and services at www.roadscholar.com.
What do you think of Road Scholar’s decision to invest in adaptive cruise control?