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Are crashes involving motorists striking attenuator trucks while the impact attenuators or crash cushions are deployed included within the definition of ‘‘accident’’ with regard to the motor carrier responsible for the operation of the attenuator truck?

Question 33: Are crashes involving motorists striking attenuator trucks while the impact attenuators or crash cushions are deployed included within the definition of ‘‘accident’’ with regard to the motor carrier responsible for the operation of the attenuator truck?

Guidance: No. Attenuator trucks are highway safety vehicles equipped with an impact attenuating crash cushion intended to reduce the risks of injuries and fatalities resulting from crashes in construction work zones. Because these vehicles are deployed at construction work zones to prevent certain crashes through the use of flashing lights and to reduce the severity of crashes when motorists do not take appropriate action to avoid personnel and objects in the construction zone, it is expected that these vehicles will be struck from time to time while the impact attenuators or crash cushions are deployed. Therefore, such events are not considered accidents and the recordkeeping requirements of 49 CFR 390.15, Assistance in investigations and special studies, are not applicable with regard to the motor carrier responsible for the operation of the attenuator truck. If however, a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, strikes an attenuator truck, this event would be considered an accident for the motor carrier responsible for the operation of the vehicle that hits the attenuator truck.

[80 FR 15914, Mar. 26, 2015]

Regulatory Topic: Accidents involving attenuator trucks
Published Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Issued Date: Tuesday, May 26, 2015