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Can Strobe Lights Reduce Rear-End Truck Crash Rates?


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An Oklahoma-based transportation company, Groendyke Transport, Inc., spent the last few years exploring ways to reduce tanker-truck incident rates. One idea that they came up with was equipping their trucks with relatively inexpensive flashing amber-colored strobe lights. Their fleet’s crash rate went down significantly after they did this. The transportation company chronicled their in-house research in a Fleet Owner article on June 1.Company owners have long been disappointed at their crash rates and wanted to find ways to reduce them. They started installing strobe lights on the rear portion of their tanker trucks approximately three years ago. They hoped that this would reduce the number of rear-end crashes that their drivers were having.

Its drivers immediately noticed how motorists were much more responsive to the tankers once they installed the strobe lights. They would slow down faster than they had in the past and even switch lanes to avoid coming close to them.

Of the different strobe lights that the transportation company tested, they ultimately determined that ones that featured intermittent blinking 73 times per minute were best.

The transportation company tested various colored lights and ultimately determined that amber-colored ones got motorists’ attention to exercise caution the most.

So far, company truckers have traveled 55 million miles with the strobe lights installed on them. The transportation carrier has seen a 34% reduction in rear-end crashes since before their installation.

The transportation company’s testing and research have generated interest among other carriers who operate in the tanker-truck sector. The National Tank Truck Carriers organization has since petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to research the benefits of installing flashing lights on tankers.

Current federal guidelines only allow for these types of trucks to have blinking turn signals. It’s illegal for them to come equipped with any other type of flashing light. The Oklahoma-based transportation was only allowed to install these lights after receiving an exemption from federal regulators.

There are a variety of reasons that motorists collide with tankers in Texas. While many of those accidents are to blame on drivers who aren’t paying attention, there are plenty of others that are attributable to truckers’ negligent operation of their tankers. It’s in the case of the latter that an attorney may advise you that you have the necessary grounds for filing a lawsuit against the trucker who hurt you here in Houston. Contact a Houston truck accident lawyer for more information about your legal options.

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