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Trucking industry slow to adopt crash avoidance technology

Studies have shown that crash avoidance technology can reduce traffic accidents in Georgia and across the U.S. However, it is not required on tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks. This is troubling because truck-related fatal accidents are on the rise.

According to federal statistics, over 4,300 people were killed in truck crashes in 2016, which is 28 percent more than were killed in 2009. To help reduce the number of accidents involving trucks, the National Transportation Safety Board has repeatedly asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require the installation of crash avoidance technology on tractor-trailers. The agency is particularly pushing for the installation of automatic emergency braking systems, which can significantly reduce the number of rear-end collisions.

However, the NHTSA has not yet issued a mandate requiring that trucks install automatic emergency braking systems. It has only issued a written statement saying that it has conducted research on early versions of the technology and plans to complete testing on newer versions within the next two years. Meanwhile, a representative of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said that crash avoidance technology isn't cost-effective for small trucking companies.

Truck wrecks often cause severe injuries and even death. Victims of truck accidents may wish to speak with an attorney about their legal options. The attorney could assess the details of the crash and help file a personal injury complaint against the driver and/or the trucking company. This type of complaint could help a victim obtain a financial settlement that covers medical expenses and other damages. If someone is killed in a truck crash, surviving family members could file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for their losses as well.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Kansas City Star: Changes Urged After Spike in Deadly Big Truck Crashes", Sept. 17, 2018

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