Commercial trucks are a constant presence on U.S. roadways, crisscrossing the country as they deliver goods from coast to coast. Driving around these vehicles can worry even the most anxious driver, and with good reason. Commercial trucks are among the more dangerous vehicles on the road.
In 2018, the National Security Council (NSC) recorded nearly 5,000 deaths in accidents involving large trucks, a nearly 50% increase from 2009. Traffic safety organizations constantly seek ways to make these vehicles safer, and advancements in technology may help.
The IIHS studied new safety technology
When these massive trucks crash, the sheer bulk of the machine can cause catastrophic damage to both people and property. Automotive engineers continue to search for ways to improve truck safety through predictive technologies. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently concluded a study on the impact of newer safety technologies on truck crashes, and with promising results.
The IIHS has worked since 1959 to increase safety on America’s roads with revolutionary crash testing and safety ratings. This latest study examined over 2,000 truck crashes from 2017 to 2019, evaluating the impact of forward collision warning and emergency braking systems. The researchers discovered these systems could prevent 40% of accidents where the semi hits another car from behind. In cases where a crash is inevitable, the systems reduced the trucks’ speed by half, decreasing injury and damage.
The IIHS team also found that trucks equipped with forward collision warning experienced 22% fewer crashes and trucks with automatic emergency braking had 12% fewer. The IIHS recommends new trucking regulations that require these systems on all new commercial vehicles moving forward.
Expected pushback from independent operators
Despite the promising data, not all truckers can get behind increased regulations. The American Automobile Association (AAA) claims the tech does not work consistently enough to mandate inclusion. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) claims the study overlooks real-world experience, training and a driver’s safety record.
Regulations shape motor vehicle law
If you suffered an injury in an accident involving a large commercial truck, legal options are available. Trucking companies purchase expansive insurance coverage and often pay out large settlements to anyone injured in an accident. An attorney familiar with Florida’s motor vehicle laws can help you secure restitution when justice matters most.