As time goes on, truck driving is getting more innovative. People are coming out with new inventions every day to make truck driving easier. One of those inventions is the pulse flashing brake light. Keep reading for more information about what you need to know about the pulse flashing brake light.
What is the Pulse Flashing Brake Light?
Pulse was invented to help reduce rear-end collisions. Pulse is a small light that is installed near the third brake light on your truck. When you step on your brakes, the light pulses 4 times to signal to other drivers that you’ve applied your brakes. If you happen to step on your brakes again right after the first time, the light will not flash again. Once installed, the Pulse light can last up to 5 years.
Intellistop is another brand of pulsing brake light that provides similar services as Pulse. It’s installed in the same place and is supposed to help prevent rear-end collisions.
How is Pulse Flashing Brake Light Safer?
According to the DOT, 90% of rear-end collisions could be prevented if the driver had an extra second of warning time. The pulse flashing brake light was invented to give drivers that warning.
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of rear-end collisions. Distracted driving claims at least 9 lives per day and about 3,500 per year. Many people are so used to multitasking that they don’t realize the potential dangers that occur by doing other activities while driving. There are 3 main types of distracted driving: Visual, Manual, and Cognitive. Visual distractions involve taking your eyes off the road, manual distractions are taking your hands off the wheel, and cognitive distractions are when your mind is not focused on driving. Distracted driving can look like any of the following things:
- Eating or drinking
- Talking on the phone
- Setting up GPS
- Looking at billboards
Many states have begun to pass distracted driving laws. Some of these laws impact drivers’ insurance and can have penalties that may cost you up to762 depending on what state you reside in. The state of Vermont has the harshest distracted driver penalty with a 56% increase on your insurance if you’re found guilty of distracted driving.
This is not the first attempt to reduce rear-end collisions for trucks. In 1992 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration required that trucks made on or before December 1, 1993, be fitted with red and white reflective sheeting. This was done to prevent cars and other motorists from slamming into the sides of trucks.
An Oklahoma tank truck carrier but a pulse flashing brake light to the test from January 2015- July 2017. During that time Groendyke Transport tracked two groups of trucks for 90 million miles over a 30-month period. One group had a pulse brake light and the other did not. The group with the light was found to have a 34% reduction in rear-end collisions. In addition to those results, truck drivers who had the light installed noticed that other motorists began reacting sooner when they saw the pulsing light and made moves to change lanes once alerted.
However, the difference between these lights and lights like Intelistop and Pulse is that these lights is not positioned around existing brake lights.
Is the Pulse Flashing Brake Light Mandatory for Trucks?
The industry is still awaiting a decision on whether or not products like the pulse flashing brake light will be mandatory for trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration still has not given their decision on whether or not the company can deploy the product. The request has been pending for more than 560 days, which violates the rule that says decisions must be made within 180 days.
Currently, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require all lights on trucks to be steadily burning with the exception of signal lamps, hazard warning signal lamps, school bus warning lamps, amber warning lamps, or flashing warning lamps on tow trucks and CMVs transporting oversized loads and warning lamps on emergency and service vehicles authorized by state or local authorities.
The pulse flashing brake lights is not mandatory for trucks as of yet, but it could be something that is soon. Manufacturers installing the pulse flashing brake light is illegal; however, if the owner of the vehicle would like to install the light after the purchase they can do so if it is legal in their state.
Some states prohibit the pulse flashing brake light, make sure you do your research and talk to your trucking carrier before considering installing the light.
Keep Your Eyes on the Road
Whether a truck has the pulse flashing brake light or not. It’s important that you keep your eyes on the road to avoid distracted driving. Distracted driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving and can cause you or someone else to lose your life if you’re not careful. If you’re considering becoming a truck driver, we’ll be sure to teach you not only how to drive a truck but how to do it safely.
Truck Driver Institute has been in business for a long time and we know a thing or two about road safety. We’ll make sure to give our new drivers the most updated training information to make sure you’re hitting the road with all the information you need to stay safe. We want to see you succeed and new drivers can make up to $71,000 as a starting salary. Learn more about how to be a safe driver and contact us today about signing up to get your Class A CDL in just 3 weeks.
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