Many truck accidents are caused when the truck is not visible to other drivers. Learn how the lack of reflectors and reflective tape may have caused your crash.

Improper and Missing Reflectors on Trucks Lead to Serious Truck Accidents

Many dangerous commercial truck accidents happen because motorists cannot properly see the entirety of a tractor trailer truck on Seattle-area highways. To reduce this preventable cause of collisions, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires a certain number of working lights and reflectors on commercial trucks so that other drivers can see them. Unfortunately, some truckers and trucking companies violate these basic safety rules, causing victims to suffer catastrophic injuries or death.

What Are the FMCSA Rules on Truck Reflectors?

FMCSA rules require that reflectors used on commercial trucks be of a specific thickness and be placed on the sides and back of the truck. There are different requirements for the number of reflectors depending on the size of the truck.

In addition, federal regulations require the use of reflective tape, which can also significantly increase a truck’s visibility. The rules require red and white tape for commercial vehicles. The tape should be between two and four inches in width and between six and eighteen inches in length. Like reflectors, the location is important. They should be placed on the sides, lower and upper rear sections, and near the rear mud flaps and fenders pursuant to FMCSA recommendations.

It is also important that truckers and trucking companies ensure that the reflectors are in good working order and that the truck is cleaned on a regular schedule. When the reflectors and reflective tape are dirty, they do little to improve a truck’s visibility.

In addition, when trucks are pulled to the side of the highway, they can be difficult for motorists to see, especially at night. Truckers are required to use flares or other reflective devices to avoid this problem.

When Are Reflectors Most Needed to Improve the Visibility of a Truck?

While being able to see trucks on the highway is always important, there are certain times when reflectors and reflective tape are essential to enable motorists to see a truck. These include:

  • At night—a common time for truckers to drive due to less traffic
  • When a truck is making turns
  • On steep or winding roads
  • When a truck is pulled over to the side of the highway
  • In tunnels
  • When visibility is poor due to rain, snow, or fog

Did your Seattle-area truck accident happen because you could not see the truck? Our experienced truck accident attorneys can help you prove the trucker’s and trucking company’s negligence and responsibility for compensating you for your injuries. To learn more about your options, call our office to schedule a free consultation.