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Safety equipment protects drivers and the public against unreasonable risk of accidents through its design, construction, or performance, and against unreasonable risk of death or injury in an accident.
All carriers should take steps to use the best and most effective safety equipment to keep their drivers and the general public out of harm’s way.
Summary of requirements
Visibility. Visibility means being able to see beyond the view available through the windshield. When purchasing equipment, try to choose windshield and window configurations that open up the driver's view.
Ventilation. Without proper ventilation, the windshield and side windows can easily fog up. For this reason, many carriers opt for add-on defroster fans. Peeper windows, cut into passenger side doors or sleeper sides, can also greatly enhance driver visibility.
Vehicle visibility. Visibility doesn’t end with what the driver can and cannot see. It also involves helping the general public see the vehicle. It is the responsibility of a safe and responsible organization to ensure all vehicles are as conspicuous as possible. Things to consider include:
- Vehicle color.Bright colors reflect light while dark colors tend to absorb light. This is an important consideration, especially during night operations.
- Conspicuity systems. Even though federal regulations state specific reflectivity, pattern, and size requirements for conspicuity treatments for tractors and trailers, a carrier can certainly choose to go above and beyond the regulations. The easier the equipment is to see, the safer it becomes.
- Lighting. While LED turn signals, stop lamps, and marker lights are more expensive, they can last up to 10 times longer than more conventional bulbs. But in addition, LED lights will also light 2 / 10 of a second faster than their incandescent counterparts. Although this might not seem like a lot, at speeds of up to 75 mph, that amount of time accounts for 15-18 feet of stopping distance.
Cab ergonomics. Much focus has been given to interior cab ergonomics. Studies continue to support the idea that comfortable drivers are less fatigued and therefore safer. But good ergonomic design goes beyond driver comfort. It also means being able to see and read gauges and reach controls while in a comfortable position, and not over-reaching.
Ease and safety of entering and exiting the vehicle should also be considered. This is especially true for operations which require the driver to mount and dismount the vehicle repeatedly during the day.
READ MORESHOW LESS
['Business planning - Motor Carrier']
['Equipment specing and purchasing - Motor Carrier']
J. J. Keller is the trusted source for DOT / Transportation, OSHA / Workplace Safety, Human Resources, Construction Safety and Hazmat / Hazardous Materials regulation compliance products and services. J. J. Keller helps you increase safety awareness, reduce risk, follow best practices, improve safety training, and stay current with changing regulations.