The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that DOT reduce rear-end collisions by mandating collision-warning systems on trucks. NTSB would like standards to include obstacle detection distance, timing of alerts, and human factors guidelines, such as the mode and type of warning. The agency also said trucking should encourage and develop driver-training programs for such devices.
NTSB noted that rear-end collisions account for almost one-third of the nation's 6-million crashes, killing over 41,000 people and injuring nearly 3.4-million others. Commercial vehicles were involved in 40% of fatal rear-end collisions, even though they make up only 3% of vehicles and 7% of miles traveled on the nation's highways.
NTSB had discussed rear-end warning devices in a 1995 report and says it considers the current pace of implementation too slow. “The work being done… is encouraging, but the pace of testing and of standards development for all vehicles and of deployment for commercial vehicles is cause for concern, given the increasing number of rear-end collisions and the number of fatalities when commercial vehicles are involved,” the Board stated.