Monday, 1 August 2011

NTSB Recommends Truck Rollover Accident Prevention Technology

The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that all tractor trailers come with rollover prevention technology, like stability control systems. The Board’s recommendations came as part of its report into a fatal tanker rollover accident in Indianapolis last year.

The accident occurred in 2009, and involved a tanker truck which went out of control and rolled over ten times near downtown Indianapolis. The tanker was carrying more than 9,000 gallons of liquefied natural gas, which leaked from the tanker. The vapors quickly ignited and exploded, causing a massive fireball that could be seen from miles away. The truck driver as well as one motorist suffered serious injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board has pointed out to the driver's excessive steering maneuvers as a factor in the accident. The Board has also noted that the tractor-trailer combination in this case was susceptible to a rollover because of the high center of gravity. Tanker trucks are especially prone to rollovers, because the liquid that they carry is prone to shift suddenly, causing a loss in balance.

California truck accident lawyers are very concerned about the integrity of tankers carrying hazardous materials. According to the Board, there are more than 1,300 rollovers every year involving cargo tank motor vehicles. The Board recommends that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration work together with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to establish a rollover prevention program. The Board also wants the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to look at cargo tank standards for all commercial trucks and buses weighing over 10,000 pounds.

Stability control systems for trucks have been around for a while now, and many trucking companies have chosen to install these in their fleets. According to statistics, mandating stability control systems on all tractor trailers could prevent nearly 3,500 truck rollover accidents every year. At least 106 lives could be saved in such accidents.

1 comment: