As truck crashes rise, some push for mandatory safety tech

Truckers and truck fleet owners in Ohio should know that more than 4,300 people died in large truck accidents in 2016. This was a 28 percent increase from 2009, according to federal data. These findings have even caught the attention of several members of Congress, who may prompt action to improve truck safety.

Crash avoidance systems, according to the trucking companies that have implemented them, can prevent more than seven out of 10 rear-end collisions as well as mitigate injuries and vehicle damage. However, only a small percentage of truckers have implemented them. Lobbying groups like the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association believe that implementing this technology should remain a voluntary decision.

On the other hand, the National Transportation Safety Board continues to recommend the mandating of forward crash avoidance and mitigation systems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been petitioned at least 10 times since the 1990s, according to safety advocates, but it has not acted on the recommendation. The NTSB, having limited authority, cannot act on the recommendation itself.

The NHTSA is, however, researching automatic emergency braking technology and may complete field operating tests on next-generation versions of it within 18 to 24 months. This research will help inform any future decisions, according to the agency.

In the event of a commercial vehicle accident, a victim will want to know just how the other side was negligent. They can obtain a copy of the police report and have a lawyer evaluate the case. If the victim has good grounds for a personal injury claim, they can file it with legal assistance. The lawyer could ultimately fight for maximum compensation.

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