DOT Requirements for Reflective Tape on Trucks

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What is DOT Reflective Tape?

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires vehicles over 10,000 pounds and 80 inches of width to be marked with a specific type of reflective tape. This tape, often called DOT C-2 tape, must meet strict quality, color, and size regulations.

What are the Requirements?

  • DOT C-2 reflective tape must be used
  • 50% of total vehicle side length must be covered
  • The entirety of the bottom of the vehicle’s back side must be covered
  • The bottom and backsides of trailers should be covered in red and white tape
  • The upper rear of trailers must display an inverted L 12 inches long made from silver or white tape
  • Reflective tape must be on the entire lower rear bar of the vehicle

Why do these Requirements Exist?

Commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), including trucks, are required to be equipped with DOT reflective tape, or equivalent reflectors, in order to make themselves more visible to other drivers. Many trucks, however, do not follow this regulation.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that reflective tape reduces side and rear crashes in dark conditions (including dusk and dawn) by 29% and brought down injuries and fatalities by 44%. Reflective tape protects drivers. That same study found that—relative to a fleet without tape—if all CMVs had reflective tape, we could avoid up to 7,800 crashes, 5,000 injuries, and 350 deaths every year.

DOT tape is inexpensive and effective and truck drivers and companies have no excuse for not adhering to federal regulations regarding visibility.

Need Legal Help After a Truck Accident?

At the Mike Morse Law Firm, we know how difficult truck accidents can be. Our expert attorneys are prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us at 855-MIKE-WINS (855-645-3946) or visit our contact page to set up a free consultation.

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