If you or a loved one has ever suffered an injury in a traffic accident with a commercial truck, you know first-hand the fear a massive commercial truck can cause. These huge vehicles are essential to the American industry, so ensuring they are safe is a top priority for traffic regulators.
Non-profit organizations like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study crash data and new technologies to help government agencies create new safety regulations. The IIHS’ most recent study examined how two automotive technologies help reduce the frequency and severity of commercial truck accidents.
Regulating safety tech could help save lives
The IIHS study examined over 2,000 truck crashes from 62 different trucking companies, taking a close look at data from trucks equipped with forward collision warning and emergency braking systems. Compared to accidents involving trucks without these safety advancements, the two technologies helped prevent 40% of crashes where the semi rear-ended another vehicle.
Eric Teoh, the IIHS’ Director of Statistical Studies, said, “Rear-end crashes with trucks… happen a lot, often with horrible consequences.” In 2018, 166 people died to commercial trucks on Illinois roads, the highest number in ten years. The IIHS hopes that the federal government will listen to their recommendations and adopt new regulations that require trucks to include these safety systems and protect more civilians.
Researchers found that, when the systems failed to prevent a crash, they helped reduce the truck’s speed by up to half. The lower-speed collisions caused fewer injuries and property damage. Altogether, trucks equipped with forward collision warning had 22% fewer crashes than those without; emergency braking systems reduced crashes by 12%.
IIHS officials hope that truckers and fleet operators factor this information into their budgeting. Though these systems may require a bigger investment up front, they will likely pay for themselves in preventing accidents and their resulting lawsuits. Commercial truck suits often settle for huge amounts of cash; these technologies may save millions.
New regulations mean new penalties for violations
Should the federal government pass legislation that requires these technologies, they will also include penalties for violating the new rules. If you had an accident with a commercial truck, you may find success securing damages alongside an attorney familiar with federal trucking regulations and Illinois motor vehicle law.