Most commercial vehicles follow a clearly defined set of rules in order to avoid problems when doing their work. Trucks, buses, and other public vehicles often use warning devices in order to help drivers perform better, especially at night or in bad weather. Transportation departments in most countries often require safety equipment installed in these vehicles; this is where authorized reflective tape comes in.
The reflective tape used in some countries differs, but the overall function and requirement stays similar: to act as a visible signal for drivers to stay away. In the US, the size of the tape, its color, placement, and markings must be precise for drivers to locate and identify the vehicles during low-visibility situations.
The usual colors of the tape are red and white, visible enough when light is flashed upon them. Six inches of each color are typically used and placed on trucks, with alternating reflective layers often helping in visibility. Silver reflective tape is also utilized by trucks that have trailers.
The placement of the tape in trucks usually varies depending on the type of truck. Usually, a truck with a trailer has reflective tape stuck in the lower portion of the vehicle. Other common areas where the stickers are usually placed include the sides of the truck and trailer, mudflaps, truck roofs and top of trailers, and above the rear lights.
A very important note regarding reflective tape is that the country’s department of transportation (DOT) must approve of the tape used in trucks. Focus must be on the reflectivity of the sticker and the strength of its adhesive, provided that it cannot be removed easily. Tapes that fall under DOT requirement are marked and approved. Trucks without DOT approved reflective tapes usually cannot be used for transportation.
The primary reason for the use of reflective tapes is for safety purposes, as public vehicles are the common victims of car accidents. Whether due to being night or due to bad weather, all drivers must practice caution and safety when traveling. The reflective tapes serve as warning signals to other drivers; that is, they warn them to stay away from passing trucks and buses.
For more information on reflective tape for trailers, one can contact either the DOT or your trusted car parts salesperson.
(Source: Reflective Tape Requirements Ehow.com)