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Can Brake-Activated Pulsating Rear Brake Lights Really Reduce Rear-End Collisions?

Industry News | 11.07.20 | Carlos Romious

It’s a question that may eventually have a definitive answer thanks to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) granting a limited five-year exemption to FMCSA’s 49 CFR 393.25 to allow National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) motor carriers to install red or amber brake-activated pulsating lights in addition to the steady-burning brake lights.

FMCSA had found that rear-end collisions are often the result of a failure to respond to slowing or stopped vehicle and account for approximately 30% of all crashes. The most likely suspect is distracted driving. FMCSCA found that data between 2010 and 2016 revealed that large trucks are three-times more likely to be involved in rear-end accidents resulting in fatalities.

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) also recognized that tank carriers have a high stake in ensuring trailers against rear-end collisions since they are often hauling hazardous or flammable materials, putting them at an even higher risk for serious or fatal injuries in rear-end crashes.

FMCSA, TCA and National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) have all concluded that distracted driving is not only widespread, but on the rise, and tank truck carriers must take further steps to protect themselves.

Groendyke Transport ( recognized the risk and installed a brake-activated pulsating amber light in addition to the steady-burning brake lights from January 2015 to July 2017. The result was an immediate decrease of 33.7% in rear-end accidents. Pulsating lights, like Peterson Manufacturing’s amber and red LED brake-activated strobes for tanker trailers, provide a series of flashes when the tanker is braking, to alert potentially distracted drivers to the slowing or stopping tanker in front of them.

Peterson Manufacturing ( is proud to announce the immediate availability of its LED Auxiliary Brake-Strobe Light and Harness System, specifically designed to meet the specifications of the FMCSA’s 49 CFR 393.25 five-year exemption. Tank fleets can now install the same Peterson harness components and Peterson LumenX® LED 10-diode strobe light that made industry headlines and drove the FMCSA exemption.

Discover more about the Peterson brake-activated pulsating lights for tanker carriers

Tanker Braking Strobes (PDF)

Watch video of strobes in action

(sorry for the dirty windshield)

Heavy Duty Trailer webpage

NOTE: FMCSA’s 49 CFR 393.25 states all exterior lamps on a vehicle are required to be steady-burning, except turn signal and hazard warning signal lamps, school bus warning lamps, tow truck amber warning or flashing warning lamps, commercial motor vehicles transporting oversized loads, and warning lamps on emergency and service vehicles.