Odds and Ends

King of the Road

Transportation Research Board

Item 1. TRB Week

This week is TRB Week. The Transportation Research Board (TRB) 95th Annual Meeting will be held January 10–14, 2016, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, in Washington, D.C.

The meeting is expected to attract more than 12,000 transportation professionals from around the world. The meeting program will cover all transportation modes, with more than 800 sessions and workshops, and 200 exhibitors. As such, this is the largest event in North America for U.S. DOT and State DOT Officials.

Two semitrailers collided early Saturday morning on Interstate 80 at mile marker 257 or the Elm Creek interchange that sent four to the hospital.

Item No. 2. Unrestrained Passenger in Bunk Seriously Hurt

Two semitrailers crashed early Saturday morning on Interstate 80 at mile marker 257 or the Elm Creek interchange that sent four people from the two trucks to the hospital.

One of the most seriously injured was in the sleeper at the time of the collision and was not restrained or buckled in.

393.76 (h) Occupant restraint. A motor vehicle manufactured on or after July 1, 1971, and equipped with a sleeper berth must be equipped with a means of preventing ejection of the occupant of the sleeper berth during deceleration of the vehicle. The restraint system must be designed, installed, and maintained to withstand a minimum total force of 6,000 pounds applied toward the front of the vehicle and parallel to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle.

Although this rule has been on the books since 1971, drivers still have questions about it. The DOT is currently putting a passenger restraint rule into place.

“When I was running team I had to make an emergency stop and my co-driver, who didn’t think he needed to use it, ended up in a heap against the shifter. He was really wide awake, too.” Driver


“Any authorized person sleeping in your vehicle while it is moving should use the bunk restraint. In an accident, an unrestrained person lying in a sleeper bunk could be injured. He or she could be thrown from the bunk.”  Driver’s Manual

A 2013 study  of over 700 collisions involving a passenger in the sleeper berth compartment by the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center found that whether a passenger was in the seat or bunk did not matter to the extent of the driver’s injuries. What did and does matter how injured a passenger becomes in a crash is whether the passenger is restrained or not.

Remind drivers to wear their restraints while in the bunk. The life they save could be their own.

Institute a safety policy requiring drivers or their passengers use the restraint system when in the bunk while the truck is in motion.

Thank you for reading this.

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