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New automatic braking systems could prevent truck accidents

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Statistics are clear that semi-trucks pose a threat to motorists. In 2022 alone, more than 120,000 of these big rigs were involved in an accident that resulted in injury, while nearly 6,000 of them were involved in a deadly crash. The number of semi-trucks involved in these wrecks has increased significantly over the last 15 years or longer, which has left many wondering what can be done to curtail these dangerous accidents and keep motorists safe.

While countless public safety initiatives have and increased efforts to enforce traffic laws have tried to bring dangerous trucking to a halt, these efforts have mostly failed. But now the government is stepping in to with an idea to use modern technology to force safe trucking practices onto drivers and their rigs.

Could automatic emergency braking systems lead to safer roads?

That’s what the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hope to achieve. Last year they proposed a rule that would require installation of these systems on new rigs, which utilize sensors to detect when a crash is imminent and automatically apply the brakes if a wreck seems likely. The system also initiates when the truck reaches a speed of six miles per hour, thereby ensuring safety even at lower speeds. These systems, if implemented, could save thousands of lives and save tens of thousands of people from unnecessary injuries over decades, even when negligent truckers fail to take precautionary action on their own.

That said, the proposed rule hasn’t received a warm embrace from all. Some are worried that the cost of installing these systems will be burdensome to business, particularly smaller ones. Others question the effectiveness of these systems. But time will tell whether automatic emergency braking systems can be effectively installed and utilized, thereby leading to safer outcomes.

Are there other options?

Technology has swung the door wide open to new safety features and functionality. It’s yet to be seen what new safety measures can be installed on big rigs, but there are bound to be several new developments over the years. Of course, one of the trickiest parts of using new technology is testing it to ensure that it’s as safe as possible before releasing it to the public. That’s one of the challenges that self-driving vehicles have recently faced.

Outside of that, much of your safety depends on defensive driving. If you find yourself near a semi-truck, be sure to maintain an appropriate distance, have an exit strategy if the truck moves in an erratic fashion, and be prepared to undertake evasive maneuvers. These actions will hopefully keep you safe until technology can better protect innocent motorists from errant and negligent truckers.

What about those who have already been hurt?

If you or a loved one has already been injured in a truck accident, then your best recourse is probably legal action in the shape of a personal injury lawsuit. There’s no guarantee that you’ll win your claim, but by diligently working to gather evidence and craft legal arguments that speak to the law, you can maximize your ability to recoup what you’re owed. Hopefully then you’ll be able to secure the treatment you need, offset your lost wages, and find the financial stability you need while you focus on your recovery. If that sounds like the outcome you want, then now is the time to get to work building your truck accident personal injury case.