Q: Can trucks be made more visible to other drivers at night?
A: During the day, trucks are easy to see, but it's a different story at night. Research indicates that if drivers of other vehicles can recognize medium and heavy trucks more easily, they can gauge their speed and distance more accurately and respond sooner when necessary. Federal studies have reported that enhancing the conspicuity of trailers reduced the incidence of crashes in which trailers were hit from the side or rear at night on unlighted roads. A federal rule requires improved conspicuity -- adding reflective sheeting or reflectors -- for trailers manufactured after December 1993 and truck tractors (bobtails) manufactured after July 1, 1997. Starting June 1, 2001, the Department of Transportation required the enhanced markings for all trailers on the road, not just new ones.