Grote Industries announced Tuesday it recently took the extraordinary step of applying for, and receiving, a waiver from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to allow motor carriers operating trailers and van body trucks to install brake-activated pulsating warning lamps to supplement the steady-burning lamps required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).
With over 300 rear-end collisions involving trailers occurring on our highways each day, Grote Industries proposed that a light with brake warning functionality will improve visibility and safety for all drivers. According to a recent study, a flashing amber brake-activated light can help reduce the frequency of rear-end collisions by more than 33 percent. The waiver, FMCSA–2020–0122, was granted based in part on this compelling data, Grote says.
And Grote adds it didn’t stop with just petitioning for the waiver. The company also developed a unique solution.
To bring greater visibility to trailers during the critical moments when the vehicle is braking, engineers at Grote developed the innovative Auxiliary Strobe and Stop Lamp, an add-on warning light that can be easily wired into a trailer’s existing brake light circuit.
In developing this new lamp, rather than just repackaging an existing product, Grote says it did what it does best; it studied the problem and listened to the needs of their customers.
The Grote Auxiliary Strobe and Stop Lamp was designed to effectively draw the attention of traffic and give following motorists greater warning of braking. To ensure that nearby drivers are aware of the vehicle’s actions, braking initiates a sequence of five amber flashes in four seconds followed by a solid-red burn. This light sequence far exceeds the attention-getting capability of standard solid-burn brake lights while not overwhelming following drivers with long periods of strobing, the company says.
“The unique advantages of Grote’s Auxiliary Strobe and Stop Lamp have gotten the attention of fleets throughout the nation,” said Grote’s Director of National Fleet Sales Mark Blackford, who found uniformly strong interest in the new lamp. “Additional functionality for auxiliary lights will cut down on accidents and property damage, and will make our roadways safer With a product like this, at the end of the day, everyone wins.”
Blackford anticipates a host of benefits will result from the waiver and the adoption of the new light, both for fleets and for the driving public. Drawing attention to the actions of trailers will increase operator safety and minimize rear-end collisions, meaning less equipment and freight damage, less downtime, and fewer delayed shipments. For fleet managers, that means a better safety record, fewer CSA headaches, more money saved, and most importantly, a safer road for everyone.