US Truckers Call for Safety Standards
More precisely, the two organizations have asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to create crashworthiness standards for trucks, standards that will be meant to improve cab structure and occupant restraints.
ATA and OOIDA sent an open letter to the safety watchdog, asking for rules aimed at strengthening windshields and doors to prevent occupant ejections, installing more forgiving interior surfaces and the addition of airbags.
"NHTSA has continuously developed crashworthiness standards for automobiles and light trucks, but to date has generally not applied crashworthiness standards to commercial trucks," the two groups say in the letter. "We believe there may be opportunities to enhance the survivability of professional truck drivers if appropriate, research-based, uniform standards are developed."
""Our organizations believe that improvements in truck occupant safety can be achieved," the letter concluded. "We look forward to working with NHTSA on this and other important highway safety efforts."
The request of the two groups come after several studies have highlighted the severity of the safety issue for trucks. For instance, truck rollover crashes are the most severe of all truck crashes accounting for 63 percent of fatal injuries to truck occupants. A simple improvement brought to the structural strength of the cab might reduce that number by 23 percent, say the two organizations.