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Tractor Trailer Study

Safety groups want technology to be mandatory in all tractor-trailers

A coalition of traffic safety groups are calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to make collision-avoidance technology mandatory in tractor-trailers and large buses, according to FOX News. The groups say the technology, which has already shown up in smaller vehicles, could help prevent thousands of truck accidents every year. So far the NHTSA has not commented on whether it will take up the proposal and trucking industry groups have also yet to commit their support to the petition.

Collision-avoidance technology

The technology, called forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking (F-CAM), is a radar technology that alerts drivers if an object, such as another vehicle, is in front of the vehicle. If a crash appears imminent, then the technology automatically brakes the vehicle, thus helping to avoid a collision.

Many drivers of luxury cars, which were the first vehicles to take advantage of F-CAM, are already familiar with the technology. F-CAM has also been making its way into lower-end cars in recent years. However, the groups advocating for the technology in trucks note that currently only three percent of the three million trucks on the nation’s roads have F-CAM installed, despite the technology being offered by most truck manufacturers, according to Truckinginfo.

Prevent accidents

The safety groups say that F-CAM should be made mandatory in all vehicles over 10,000 pounds. They claim that if all of the nation’s tractor-trailers had F-CAM installed then there would be an immediate reduction of 2,500 truck crashes each year. Furthermore, future technology may be able to prevent a total of 6,000 annual truck accidents.

Fueling the need for such a requirement is the fact that truck accidents have been on the rise in recent years. In 2013, the total number of truck accidents rose to 3,964 at a time when traffic deaths from other types of collisions actually fell. The groups point out that F-CAM could prove especially beneficial in work zones where slowed vehicles are often at risk of being rear-ended by fatigued or inattentive truck drivers.

Truck accidents

Truck accidents not only account for a disproportionate number of total highway accidents, but they also typically lead to much more serious injuries, especially for people in smaller vehicles.

What also makes these accidents unique is that filing a claim against a potentially negligent truck driver is often complicated by the numerous parties involved, including not just the drivers themselves, but the carrier, the truck owner, and the trucking company’s insurer. As a result, anybody who has been injured in a truck accident should reach out to a personal injury attorney who can help guide victims through what can otherwise be a confusing claims process.