Data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that 4,300 individuals lost their lives in crashes with tractor-trailers in 2016 alone. This marked a 28 percent increase over those who died in similar crashes in 2009. Some traffic safety advocacy groups argue that this increase in fatal truck crashes is indicative of the federal government’s failure to change trucking regulations in recent years.
Studies show that some of the most serious trucking accidents are those that involve trucks rear-ending other motorists. They often occur on heavily congested highways and frequently within work zones. Traffic safety advocates argue that they’re expected to increase as more people shop online and products need to be transported to and fro.
Rear-end truck accidents are among the most preventable types of crashes. In fact, even as far back as the late 1990s, traffic safety analysts championed crash avoidance and mitigation systems as a way to greatly curb them. Fast forward two decades later. Federal regulators have yet to order truckers to install such systems on their trucks.
The type of technology that many advocacy groups are calling for isn’t new to regulators. It’s similar to front collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems that most every car sold in the United States today comes with. Only a small handful of semis come equipped with the same technology right now. Truck manufacturers are spending very little time discussing the issue too.
When asked for comment about truck safety, one Democrat United States senator responded that there’s no reason that safety equipment currently installed on trucks hasn’t kept pace with technological advancements. He noted that it’s time for him and his fellow lawmakers to put safety ahead of market forces.
Traffic safety advocates note that this latest technology aids motorists in avoiding crashes when they speed, become distracted or are impaired, the three top causes of traffic-related fatalities.
Until lawmakers decide to step in and pass regulations requiring truckers to install this crash avoidance technology, it’s likely that more people will suffer serious injuries or die in rear-end collisions. In instances like these, you’ll want to have a Stamford truck accident attorney representing you who will prioritize your case when fighting for the compensation you deserve.