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Groups call for mandatory crash avoidance tech on large trucks

Virginia residents who are concerned about truck safety may wonder if crash avoidance systems could help in any way. While such systems can certainly reduce the number of crashes, they are currently not mandated for commercial trucks. A report given by The Kansas City Star, the findings of which have received the attention of several members of Congress, says that they should be.

The Star brought up federal data showing that there were 4,3000 people killed in large truck accidents: a 28 percent increase from 2009. It then called out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for failing to propose any regulations that take advantage of crash avoidance technology.

On at least 10 occasions since the 1990s, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that NTHSA make forward crash avoidance and mitigation systems mandatory on all heavy trucks. Such technology could prevent more than 7 out of 10 rear-end collisions and mitigate the severity of those collisions that do occur, yet only a small percentage of trucks are equipped with it at the moment.

NHTSA, for its part, issued a written statement saying that it is researching early automatic emergency braking technology and that it may complete field operating testing on next-generation versions of the technology in 18 to 24 months. Trucking industry lobbying groups have spoken up, saying that crash avoidance tech should not be mandated.

It should be remembered that truckers can become negligent behind the wheel even with new technology in place. When truckers cause a motor vehicle accident, the other party may be able to file a claim against the trucking company and be covered for their past and future medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other losses. A lawyer may be able to negotiate for a settlement and assist with litigation if a settlement is not achieved.

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