Virginia drivers have been enjoying collision avoidance technology on their vehicles for years. Studies have shown these advanced safety systems reduce motor vehicle accidents and save lives. However, semis and other large trucks are not required to have these technologies, according to a report by The Kansas City Star.
Federal statistics show that large truck accidents killed over 4,300 people in 2016, which represents a 28 percent jump over 2009. To reduce truck crash fatalities, the National Transportation Safety Board has repeatedly asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to mandate collision avoidance technologies on all heavy trucks. However, according to The Star, the NHTSA has failed to respond.
The NTSB believes that forward collision avoidance systems with automatic emergency braking technology would be the most effective at reducing truck accidents. Research shows that the technology can prevent over 70 percent of rear-end collisions involving trucks. The technology can also significantly reduce the severity of injuries when accidents do occur. In response to mounting pressure to act, the NHTSA recently issued a statement saying it had conducted a study on early automatic emergency braking systems and plans to complete testing on newer systems within the next two years.
Truck rear-end collisions can result in severe injuries and even death. Individuals who are injured in a truck accident might have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault truck driver and/or the trucking company the driver works for. Common damages sought in a personal injury claim include current and future medical costs, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and property loss. Meanwhile, families who lose a loved one in a truck crash could file a wrongful death claim against the responsible truck driver and/or trucking company. Potential damages paid out in such a case might include funeral and burial costs, loss of income and loss of companionship.
Source: Insurance Journal, “Kansas City Star: Changes Urged After Spike in Deadly Big Truck Crashes,” Sept. 17, 2018