All commercial trucks are legally required to be equipped with highly reflective tape or its equivalent in the form of reflectors, so they are more visible. But drive down any Michigan highway and it’s shocking to see just how many trucks still do not have reflective tape.
A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that the required reflective tape is highly effective in preventing crashes. The study estimated that once all heavy trucks in the U.S. have been equipped with highly reflective tape, 7,800 crashes each year will be prevented. The study also estimated that 191 to 350 fatalities per year — meaning people killed driving into trucks without reflective tape in poor visibility conditions — will be prevented, as well as 3,100 to 5,000 people who suffer personal injury from these type accidents. According to the study, reflective tape greatly reduces side and rear crashes into heavy tractor-trailers.
Regardless, many truck drivers and trucking companies throughout the country and in Michigan neglect to adhere highly reflective tape to their semi-trucks. Since the absence of reflective tape on trucks has been proven to cause catastrophic truck accidents, there is very little excuse for why truck fleets haven’t added the inexpensive tape to older trucks that are still in service.
Also, if a truck driver is caught driving a newer model truck without reflective tape, he or she can be cited with a safety violation and the truck can be taken out of service (shut down).
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