On the Bay Area’s crisscrossing web of highways, there are no vehicles more dangerous than tractor-trailers. Because of their sheer size and weight, they are difficult to maneuver and to bring to a stop. Because of design flaws, blind spots exist for truckers behind the wheels of the behemoths, making it impossible at times for them to even see objects and people near their vehicles.
The National Transportation Safety Board recently issued recommendations addressing the blind spots that can lead to collisions with passenger vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
When an 18-wheeler hits a car, motorcycle, bicycle or person on foot, the accident victim is often left with catastrophic injuries and mountainous medical expenses.
The NTSB hopes to reduce the numbers of those violent collisions with its recommendations to the National Highway Safety Administration. The NTSB said that blind spots on the large, commercial trucks pose dangers to others on streets and highways, even when the truckers are performing simple tasks with their vehicles, such as making a turn, changing lanes, backing up and even, in certain cases, driving straight ahead.
The NTSB also proposes to upgrade underride protection systems on big rigs. The systems on many trucks today are outdated, the federal agency says, and don’t adequately protect occupants of passenger vehicles from “underride events,” which is when a passenger vehicle goes under the truck in a crash.
The NTSA wants rear underride protections on trucks upgraded to protect motorists in collisions with the trailers the large trucks are hauling, thereby reducing the severity of many injuries.
Unfortunately, after truck accidents, the trucking companies typically act quickly to minimize their financial responsibility, making it imperative that accident injury victims have on their side an experienced personal injury attorney.
Source: TheTrucker.com, “NTSB offers 7 recommendation to improve truck safety,” April 4, 2014