Some of the most devastating truck accidents occur when the truck driver fails to spot or identify a motorist in one of his blind spots. There are several such blind spots located behind, at the sides, and in front of the truck. When a motorist is in one of these areas, he is not visible to the truck driver. Therefore, the potential for an accident is extremely high. The National Transportation Safety Board recently called on the federal agency for trucking safety to take more steps to mitigate such hazards.
The National Transportation Safety Board is especially concerned about the risks to “vulnerable” road users: those pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists who share our roads. These persons may be even more invisible to a truck driver when they are in the blind spots. In spite of the fact that accidents caused when a truck driver collides with a car, motorcycle or pedestrian in his blind spot number in the thousands every year, the federal administration has focused very little on how mitigating such hazards could prevent accidents and save lives.
The National Transportation Safety Board requests the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to establish new regulations that could help prevent these accidents by boosting blind spot awareness. The Board also wants the federal administration to look more closely at advanced technologies that can be used to mitigate blind spot hazards.
These technologies include the use of advanced mirror system. The Board in its report is not specific about the kind of mirror systems that can be used, but it does indicate that enhanced mirrors like crossover convex mirrors that are required in New York and in many Europe countries, could alert drivers to a motorist in their blind spots. The systems could also include rear view cameras that display to truck drivers motorists or pedestrians in the blind spots behind the tractor-trailer.