The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended that all tanker trucks be retrofitted with anti-rollover devices, after further investigation into a 2009 tanker rollover accident in Indiana.
The report findings stated that the major cause of the accident was due to “the driver’s excessive and rapid evasive steering maneuver.”
According to NTSB Chairwoman, Deborah A. P. Hersman, “There are more than 1,300 rollovers a year involving cargo tank motor vehicles.” She went on to say, “The NTSB has been concerned about the integrity of cargo tanks carrying hazardous materials for more than 40 years.”
The state of Florida alone, has seen several tanker explosions within less than five years with the most recent being August, 2011 in Satellite Beach, Florida.
The four key NTSB proposals are:
- Implement a comprehensive rollover prevention program with the FMCSA and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
- Have the PHMSA Analyze available accident data to identify cargo tank designs that are susceptible to failure for developing accident performance standards for newly-manufactured cargo tanks.
- Have the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration develop stability control system performance standards for all commercial motor vehicles and buses that have a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds as well as to establish comprehensive minimum performance standards for all newly manufactured cargo tank motor vehicles.
- Have the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials develop guidelines for identifying and protecting bridges that are vulnerable to collapse if struck by errant heavy commercial vehicles.
I would think that after 40 years, a regulation such as this, is long overdue.
© 2011, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.