New Technology May Reduce Truck Crashes
It seems like every year, auto manufacturers come out with a new piece of technology. Whether it was heated seats, Bluetooth, built-in GPS, or auxiliary cables, many of these changes made cars more comfortable to drive but didn’t have major safety improvements. It was not until recently that cars were upgraded with backward-facing cameras to help protect pedestrians when drivers are backing out of their garages.
Now, one major safety feature is being tested in modern semi-trucks that may make our roads significantly safer.
How Automatic Brakes Can Save Lives
Automatic emergency brakes (AEB) are the latest in new safest features being added to modern vehicles. When these systems are installed in a car, they help the vehicle detect other vehicles, objects, and pedestrians in front of the car and apply the brakes to prevent a collision.
Car commercials often show these vehicles avoiding collisions with pedestrians, but they can also help prevent rear-end crashes at intersections when paired with forward collision warning (FCW) systems. FCW systems measure the speed of a car and the amount of space between it and any vehicle in front of it and warn the driver of a potential collision.
Currently, more than 20 major car companies plan on including AEB systems in all of their light vehicles by 2022, which would include 99% of all vehicles sold in the United States, and at least four companies have already hit that target early. Research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) suggests that these changes could prevent “42,000 crashes and 20,000 injuries by 2025,” and further data shows that the same technology may reduce truck crash rates.
How AEB Systems Could Reduce Truck Crashes
The value of AEB and FCW systems cannot be understated. The majority of car crashes are the result of driver error, such as speeding, tailgating, and distracted driving. While drivers should always pay attention to the road and follow the law, new technology has also proven effective at reducing accident rates.
In fact, two out of five rear-end truck crashes could be prevented by AEB technology, according to the IIHS. The study examined crash rates among large semi-trucks and compared the data between trucks with AEB and FCW systems and trucks that had normal brakes. Based on the analysis, IIHS concluded that AEB trucks had 12% fewer crashes and FCW trucks had 22% fewer crashes.
More than half of all two-car wrecks involved a rear-end collision, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The agency points out that 93.7% of these injuries may be prevented or reduced through AEB technology. AAA has also recommended AEB technology in semi-trucks and pointed out that 5,294 crashes, 2,753 injuries, and 293 deaths could be prevented annually with AEB systems.
There are two main barriers to adding AEB to modern trucks. The first is that many truck drivers are still driving older models that would need to be modified with AEB technology. The other is that truck manufacturers need to begin adding this technology into all new models, which would increase the overall costs of the vehicles.
However, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Trucking companies spend millions of dollars each year paying out truck accident claims and higher insurance premiums. Improving their vehicles’ safety features could drastically reduce the costs and save lives in the long run.
Fighting for Your Rights After a Truck Crash
No one can doubt the dangers of a rear-end collision with a truck. The sheer weight and power of these vehicles can seriously injure and kill other drivers during a crash. These collisions are almost always the fault of the trucker, who may have been intoxicated, distracted, or fatigued. In any case, truck crash victims deserve full compensation for their injuries.
If you or someone you love was injured by a truck driver, contact the Omaha truck accident attorney at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. We understand just how devastating these wrecks can be and fight for the rights of anyone injured in a crash. The truck driver’s insurance company is unlikely to pay you a fair settlement for your trauma, but the team at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. is well-versed in dealing with dismissive insurance companies. We know their tactics and how to fight back. If we sound like the right firm for you, call our office at (402) 505-8234 to get a free case evaluation.
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