Truck Conspicuity and Lighting Display
Trucks are easy to spot during the day, but spotting them at night can
be much more challenging and present a greater risk to drivers. Research
indicates that nighttime drivers can more accurately gauge the speed and
distance of a truck when they are easy to see, and can react to them sooner
if a collision is imminent.
Federally conducted studies have suggested that enhancing the conspicuity
of trailers resulted in a reduced incidence of crashes at night on unlit
roads in which trailers were struck from the back or side. Although trucking
companies have known this since the 1960s, the trucking industry largely
ignored the issue until the mid-1990s.
Truck conspicuity refers to the factors of:
- Perceiving that something is ahead on the road in the dark;
- Identifying that the object is a truck;
- Recognizing that the position and slower speed of the truck presents a
- Stimulating you to take action to prevent an imminent collision.
Studies by the NHTSA confirmed that something as simple as reflective tape
had a large impact on reducing truck-related crashes and fatalities, and
estimates that full implementation of federal visibility requirements
for tractor-trailers will prevent nearly 8,000 crashes each year. It also
estimates that equipping trailers with reflective tape will prevent 191
to 350 fatalities per year, along with up to 5,000 injuries. The tape
reduces rear and side impacts into trailers at night by 29 percent.
In light of these findings, the NHTSA now requires all heavy trailers manufactured
after November 1993 to be equipped with reflective tape or other reflectors.
Any trailers not using tape to improve their conspicuity are considered
unsafe and defective. At least 50 percent of the length or the trailer
must be treated with 2” or 3” wide strips of alternating red-and-white-striped
conspicuity material, or 1” wide strips placed no further than 1”
apart. Improvements to truck cab and trailer lighting and reflectivity
will increase their visibility and prevent crashes by providing early
detection and recognition of trucks by motorists.
Truck Accident Attorney in San Francisco, CA
Scarlett Law Group has aggressively fought for the rights of truck accident
victims for over 20 years. We are rated among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers
in the Country and have an AV Preeminent® rating by Martindale-Hubbell®.
Our team of lawyers is ready to do what it takes to win your case, whether
you are facing complex court litigation or are seeking full compensation
through a settlement. To get started with a
free case evaluation, contact our San Francisco truck accident attorneys at