Federal Conspicuity Requirements and Alpharetta Tractor Trailer Accidents
As a driver, it goes without saying that in order to be able to avoid hitting something you need to be able to see it. In the daytime, seeing other vehicles normally does not present a problem, except in cases of heavy fog, rain, or snow. At night, seeing other vehicles can become significantly more difficult, which is why government vehicles require that vehicles be outfitted with certain standardized lights outlining the vehicle body and alerting other drivers of cars that are slowing down, turning, or switching lanes.
Tractor-trailers are no different, except for the fact that they often tow trailers that can over 50 feet long and nearly 14 feet high. Without illumination, these trailers can be extremely difficult to see for other drivers, potentially creating a significant risk of a collision. To combat this risk, regulations promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) known as the “conspicuity requirements1” require that reflective tape, reflectors, or lights are placed at certain places on the trailer. These locations include:
- At certain intervals along the top and bottom side of the trailer
- On the rear of the trailer (in addition to tail lights)
- Along the rear under-ride guard
- On the top corners of the trailer
When truck drivers and trucking companies fail to comply with these requirements, serious accidents can result. If drivers are unable to see a trailer that is stopped or moving more slowly than they are in front of them, they can easily collide with that trailer. Because of the fact that trailers often sit higher than passenger vehicles, these collisions can result in an extremely dangerous accident known as an under-ride accident. In these accidents, vehicles and their occupants can potentially be crushed, and parts of the trailer may enter the passenger vehicle’s cabin. Consequently, the injuries victims sustain can be catastrophic.
Non-compliance with federal regulations can result in legal liability
In order to successfully recover compensation after a tractor trailer accident, victims must be able to establish that their injuries were the result of someone else’s negligence2. Under some circumstances, a truck not being in compliance with the federal conspicuity requirements may be sufficient to establish negligence on the part of the truck driver or the trucking company. As a result, it is important for victims to have the circumstances of their accident reviewed by an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact an Alpharetta truck accident lawyer today for a free consultation
The lawyers of Boling Rice LLC are dedicated to helping truck accidents recover for their losses. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at (770) 355-0780.