Technology has become the final frontier with cars and trucks. As manufacturers and researchers push toward mass-producing self-driving vehicles. One outgrowth of that emerging technology is that some new safety equipment can already help human drivers operate their vehicles more safely.
Conclusive results in the study
Successful examples of this new safety technology are automatic emergency braking (AEB) and collision warnings systems (CWS). According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), these new safety features could save lives, reduce the severity of injuries and prevent damage:
- Trucks with collision warning systems reduce rear-end crashes by 44%.
- Automatic emergency braking reduces rear-end crashes by 41%.
- This technology also reduces the impact and severity of the collisions by reducing speeds by 50% before impact.
The IIHS cites its findings when calling upon the U.S. government to issue regulations requiring this technology on all new large trucks, even though many trucking fleet operators have voluntarily done so already.
“Rear-end crashes with trucks and other vehicles happen a lot, often with horrible consequences,” said Eric Teoh, the institute’s director of statistical services who did the study. “This is an important countermeasure to that.”
Teoh parsed crash data from 62 trucking companies that use tractor-trailers or large trucks over 33,000 pounds. The study found that 2,000 crashes occurred during 2 billion miles of driving from 2017 through 2019. The study also compared trucks at the same company with AEB and FCW and those who did not have this new safe driving technology.
Full implementation yet to happen
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will review the IIHS’s findings, but there are currently no plans to change car and trucking regulations. With the rise of distracted driving and other factors, the number of crashes involving trucks is up by 33% between 2009 and 2019.
When these crashes are not fatal, they often leave victims severely injured. This often leaves victims and their families in truck-related crashes little choice but to file a personal injury or a wrongful death lawsuit against the trucking lines. With the help of an attorney with experience handling truck accidents, the client can often get compensation for related medical expenses, loss of income during recovery and future earning potential as well as pain and suffering endured by victims and their families.