OOIDA urges NHTSA to research cab crashworthiness standards

December 12, 2012

Grain Valley, MO – The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is urging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to research and provide recommendations on improving truck cub crashworthiness standards.

In a letter (.pdf file) sent Nov. 26 to NHTSA, Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice president, said improving the standards could help save hundreds of lives each year.

The surface transportation funding bill (known as MAP-21) (.pdf file), signed into law July 6, included a provision for NHTSA to complete research on developing cab crashworthiness standards in the 18 months following the bill’s passage.

Among the standards mentioned in the letter:

  • Improved cab structure to provide enough space to reduce the risk of injury or death in a crash
  • Occupant restraint systems such as safety belts and air bags
  • Windshield and door strength to ensure occupant retention in a crash
  • Interior surfaces to protect drivers during a crash, such as padded interiors and energy-absorbing steering columns

The letter claims previous research indicates that increasing the safety of truck cabs could decrease driver fatalities in rollover crashes by 23 percent each year.